Storke Tower’s bells came back to life late Monday afternoon following a long period of silence and a malfunction that is still unexplained.
On Oct. 9, the bells rang about once per second from 7:50 p.m. to 8:47 p.m. Following complaints regarding the excessive ringing, UCSB Facilities Management shut off the bells. Though the equipment was tested and retested, technicians were still unable to find the malfunction that caused the tower to ring uncontrollably, Physical Facilities’ Zone Building Maintenance West Area Manager Bob Wright said.
“We put it back online Monday afternoon, but we never really figured out what caused the malfunction,” Wright said. “Unless it happens again, we won’t be able to know what was really wrong with it.”
According to Wright, the Storke Tower bells, dedicated 38 years ago, did not have this kind of problem until very recently.
“From what I remember, it’s malfunctioned twice like that very recently,” Wright said. “This is not a problem we’ve had for a long time. It was a very unusual problem when it started ringing consistently like that.”
Even though the problem was not identified, the bells are up and running in hopes that they will not malfunction again, Wright said.
“Right now we have the bells working on hour cycles and we’re just going to try that out for some time,” Wright said. “We’re just hoping it was a fluke.”
The Storke Tower bells were dedicated Sept. 28, 1969. Through a system created by Music Dept. professor Carl Zytowski, the bells ring out the University motto, “Let There Be Light,” at 10 minutes to the hour and play “Westminster Quarters” on the hour.