FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, a building bearing the Heavilon name has graced Purdue's campus. Heavilon Hall (HEAV) possesses a history unique among all the structures on campus. (See the story, below.)
Today the hall houses the Departments of English and the Purdue University Writing Lab, an instructional computing laboratory and many classrooms. It is located behind Stewart Center and the Purdue Memorial Union.
"One Brick Higher"
IT WAS A CRISP WINTER DAY on January 19, 1894. It was the dedication of Heavilon Hall, the newly built home of Purdue engineering.
The Heavilon Hall tower stood tall and proud, a symbol of academic excellence for all to see, until tragedy struck four days later. Students, faculty, and administrators watched helplessly as flames devoured their new campus landmark. It was a day never to be forgotten.
Purdue President James A. Smart brought the campus together. He rallied their spirits by emphatically declaring that Heavilon Hall and its tower would go up "one brick higher."
And it did -- by nine bricks, in fact. The new Heavilon Hall was completed in December 1895. Its new tower contained the same powerful presence as the original, but it held a few special features of its own: A clock and four bells. The chimes marked the quarter-hour and the four-faced clock served as a campus landmark for 60 years.
Alas, by 1956 weather and time had taken their toll. Heavilon Hall was demolished and another -- the present structure -- was built bearing the same name. The tower clock and bells, not part of the new building's design, were placed in storage.
In the fall of 1995, work was completed on the new Purdue Bell Tower, a 160-foot-tall, brick-clad, steel-frame modern interpretation of the original Heavilon Hall tower. Retrieved from storage, the original bells again chime the quarter-hour. The new tower also features the old tower's restored clockworks. It is located in Sinninger Park, which is adjacent to the Elliott Hall of Music and a short distance from Heavilon Hall.