CSULB’s Bell Tower


Wednesday March 16, 2016

I remember in my Freshman campus tour that the Bell Tower was what left the most memorable impression on me, because my tour guide said that this is the bell tower without any bells. I thought that was hilarious in that there wasn’t a point to it, then.

After a while, though, I started to appreciate it. I ended up using the bell tower as a marker of where places were. To me, it was where the USU food court, the MLSC, and the HSCI buildings were, which were the places I most frequently visited. Coming from Upper Campus, past the Bell Tower would be Lower Campus. From Lower Campus, past the Bell Tower and to the right would be the Bookstore. It really helped me out during Freshman year, especially since I sucked at directions and my placement on a map. As a Freshman, if I was randomly placed somewhere on campus, I wouldn’t know the relative directions of certain places are. I’m much better now.

I know that the Walter Pyramid is the symbolic structure of CSULB, but for me, it’s the Bell Tower. It’s kind of like how the Empire State Building is the symbol of New York even though there’s the Statue of Liberty (which, to an American would be a symbol of Ney York, but to a foreigner it’s probably more the symbol of the US as a whole).

I was thinking about what the symbolic symbol of Los Angeles is and, unless you count the Hollywood sign, I couldn’t really think of an obvious one. If someone were to shoot a movie in LA, I would think it’s just some generic city (which is why when someone says to think of an LA movie, I wouldn’t know, because I never noticed it. I know New York movies, though). I’m kind of embarrassed as a California citizen. There is the Bonaventure, which I didn’t know existed until I learned about it last semester in UHP 101. However, the Bonaventure is kind of a short building and wouldn’t stand out unless a camera were to pan over it or if you were to drive by it. It’s really pretty, though. On the outside. Maybe I just haven’t been to LA all that much.


  1. Katarina Stiller

    I like how you compared CSULB’s symbolic monuments with L.A.’s. I agree that L.A. doesn’t really have some longstanding, universally iconic symbol (other than the Hollywood Sign). When I think of L.A., I think of congested, smoggy freeways. I don’t know if that can really count as a monument to a city (not a very flattering one anyways), but this image is popular in films that are set in L.A..

  2. Jordan Friedman

    I never really understood why the bell tower never had any actually bells. Maybe thats what makes it so unique. There are so many different sculptures on campus that not many of appreciate. We just walk by without really taking the time to understand out surroundings and how we could use them to our advantage. I like how you really appreciated the symbolism of this structure, and even used this unique structure to help you find where things are around school.

  3. Christopher Fernandes

    I really like your comparisons of the bell tower and the Walter Pyramid at CSULB to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building in New York. Good way to think about it, despite me not personally using the bell tower as a reference point, I’m sure you weren’t alone in this way of school mapping. I also completely agree with LA not really having it’s own symbolic monument, but I don’t think it’s because you haven’t seen enough of LA. I feel that it’s more of the fact that, as stated in class by Professor Smith multiple times, when someone says Los Angeles, it’s kind of a vague location comprised of various different cities, each with their own unique aspects that together form LA.

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