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Sather Tower


Sather Tower, known more commonly as The Campanile for bearing close resemblance to the Campanile de San Marco in Venice, is a bell and clock tower and the most well known and visible building on the University of California, Berkeley campus. Completed in 1914 and first opened to the public in 1917, the tower stands 307 feet (93.6 meters) tall and is the highest bell-tower outside of Italy. Designed by John Galen Howard, founder of the School of Architecture, it was funded by and named after Jane K. Sather, a benefactor of the university. It chimes every hour.

An elevator takes visitors to an observation deck 200 feet up the tower, providing sweeping views of the campus, surrounding hills, San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Above the observation platform lies a sixty-one bell carillon which plays a concert every weekday morning, noontime, and late afternoon. At noon on the Friday before the start of finals, They're Hanging Danny Deever in the Morning is played. (The song employs only the original set of bells installed in 1917.) Following that, the carillon is silent until the end of finals.

The first successful suicide jump off the Campanile occured in 1958 by a a 67-year old retired attorney. This led to a daily platform guard patrol. After sophomore John Patterson's suicide in 1961, glass panes were installed to enclose the viewing platform. However, these panes were removed in 1979 after the carillon was expanded and people complained that these panes were muffling the sound. Finally, a set of metal suicide bars was installed in 1981.

The Campanile also houses many of the Paleontology department's fossils.

The programming language Sather is named after the tower.

See also: Sather Gate

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