Moser Tower in Naperville resumes tours after being closed for renovations

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Moser Tower in downtown Naperville just opened back up Friday for guided tours available for the general public after being closed for two years of renovations.  NCTV17 got a sneak peek inside the tower prior to the tours.

Tour Dates and Times

For those wishing to go inside Moser Tower and take a closer look at the Millennium Carillon that sits inside, the Naperville Park District offers guided tours on select days:  Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Tickets are $3 per person for those over the age of five (children four and under are free).

For those who are unable to climb the stairs, there is an elevator available that takes visitors up to the Gallery Level Observation Deck.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased inside the Paddleboat Quarry Rentals building at the base of Rotary Hill.

The difference between Moser Tower and the Millennium Carillon

While the entire structure is commonly referred to as the Millennium Carillon, that actually is a misnomer, as the carillon is only the instrument inside. The whole building itself is Moser Tower.

Taller than the Statue of Liberty, the 16-story tower stands at a total of 160 feet at the base of Rotary Hill.  There are 253 steps to the top of the structure, which offers broad views of Centennial Beach, downtown Naperville, and even the Chicago skyline on clear days.

The Millennium Carillon is a 72-bell musical instrument that is housed inside Moser Tower.  The biggest bell, weighing six tons alone, is known as “Big Joe,” named after the city’s founder Joe Naper, and is the only bell not donated by a single donor but rather a collection of many donors.

According to the City of Naperville’s Carillonneur, Tim Sleep, this carillon is one of only 200 in North America.

“It was a project to commemorate the millennium back in [the year] 2000.  It was donated by Harold and Margaret Moser, longtime Naperville supporters,” said Sleep. “I was formerly a band director and middle school principal but I’ve been a longtime church organist so learning how to play something with pedals became somewhat natural to me.  I’m very blessed to be able to play here and then subsequently I toured around and played in other states and concerts like that.”

Summer concerts at the carillon

You can hear Sleep play the carillon during free concerts most Tuesdays throughout the summer until mid-August.  The public is invited to bring a blanket and/or chairs to Rotary Hill to enjoy the music, lasting about 50 minutes.

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