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Home | Exhibitions | Online | Memorial Union | Signs, Symbols, and Seals | The Soaring Skyline

Memorial Union Memorial Union: The Transcendent Tower

Signs, Symbols, and Seals: The Sculpture of Memorial Tower

The Soaring Skyline

Memorial Tower’s four corner piers soar to form spires—slender, tapering conical structures. Associated with martial power, wealth, and piety, spires are frequently found on Gothic churches. Crockets, which are richly carved, curling, leaf- and flame-like protuberances, cover them. In between the spires is a series of alternating crenels and merlons, which is a pattern known as crenellation, a common type of medieval fortification. Pierced with Gothic lancet arches and spires, Memorial Tower’s crenellation is purely decorative. Below the crenellation is a horizontal decorative band with ballflowers (Tudor floral designs) and trefoils (abstract shamrock designs representing the Holy Trinity).

Tower from Hitt Street

Tower from Hitt Street

Spire showing Crockets

Spire showing CrocketsSpires and Crenellation

Spires and Crenellation

Ballflowers and Trefoils

Ballflowers and Trefoils



Memorial Union Exhibition

Exhibition Home

History of Memorial Tower

Making the Memorial

In Memoriam

Signs, Symbols, and Seals: The Sculpture of Memorial Tower

Figured in Stone: The Arcade Sculptures of Memorial Tower

Tradition: Tipping the Cap


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