Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Carrie Tower

Carrie Tower was erected in 1904, a gift of Paul Bajnotti of Turin, Italy, and a memorial to his wife, born Caroline Mathilde Brown, granddaughter of Nicholas Brown 1786, for whom the University is named, and daughter of Nicholas Brown 1811. She died in Palermo in 1892 after sixteen years of marriage to Bajnotti, who also erected a fountain in her memory in Burnside Park in Providence. Carrie Tower was designed by Guy Lowell of Boston, who was selected from a competition of well-known architects. It was built by J. W. Bishop Company on the Front Campus close to the corner of Prospect and Waterman Streets. The tower of red brick is 95 feet high, and is elaborately adorned with stonework, done under the direction of John L. Thorpe of Boston. There are festoons of fruit near the base, and at the top, above four clock faces on the sides of the tower flanked by eight panels of fruit, are in rising succession, 32 carved urns, eight capitals, four shields, and at the very top, four urns with flame. On the foundation is inscribed “Love is Strong as Death.” A strange occurrence in 1950 caused the clock to run erratically. When this was investigated, it appeared that an essential part of the clock’s mechanism had been removed, and it further appeared that this had been done purposely to call attention to the prank that had caused eight of the elaborate “beefeater” hats belonging to Corporation members to be lying on top of the tower.