Grace Episcopal Church logo

924 Lake Street - Oak Park IL 60301 - 708-386-8036 - -

The smallest bell of the set weighs 375 pounds and the largest weighs 3,600 pounds, for a total weight of 13,350 pounds. They are mounted on a wood and iron frame in the open upper story of the bell tower, above Grace’s main entrance. The whole assembly of frame, mounting hardware, and bells weighs 20,000 pounds.

Mr. Seabury was
a founding member
of Grace Church.

Whenever you hear Grace’s bells, you know there’s a real person pushing levers or pulling a rope in an unheated ringing room 26 feet below the bells.

Some facts and figures

Cast in bronze bell metal: 78% copper, 22% tin

Tunings, weights, and some notes.

D       3600 lbs.      56 in. diameter.                            

E        2500 lbs.
F#      2000 lbs.
      1500 lbs.
A        1075 lbs.
B          775 lbs.
C          675 lbs.
C#        575 lbs.
D          475 lbs.
E           375 lbs.      26 in. diameter

The program for the bells' dedication

From Oak Leaves, November 1922

Grace’s Seabury Chime of ten bronze bells was dedicated in November 1922, soon after the tower was completed. A chime is a musically tuned set of bells played like a single instrument.

 Grace’s bells have sent out their joyful sound every Sunday morning for almost a century. They have also been rung for hundreds of weddings, funerals, national holidays, and special occasions. When conditions are right, our bells can be heard as far as three miles away.

They are played by one carillonneur from a console in a ringing room halfway up the tower, 26 feet below the bell chamber. The console has ten wooden levers, each attached to the clapper of a bell by chains, rods, and bars. The player can control the bells' volume by pushing the lever with more or less vigor. The largest bell can also be swung by a rope extending down into the ringing room.

Clappers strike the bells when cables are actuated by the levers below.

Tower Bells

In June 2022, inspection revealed that after a century of use, in all kinds of weather, certain parts of the bells’ wood and iron supporting frame urgently needed to be repaired or replaced. Grace is currently evaluating the cost and logistics of having that work done, but in the meantime, our bells are silent. We yearn to hear them ring out their joyful D major peal once again.