The bronze bell that melted in the Old Capitol fire last year is now on display in Iowa City — and a replacement bell has been found for the historic structure.The squashed 11-hundred-pound bell, or what’s left of it, is on exhibit at the U-of-I Museum of Natural History in Macbride Hall, next-door to Old Capitol. The bell had kept time on campus nearly 15 decades, but the heat of the November fire which destroyed the cupola and gold dome also demolished the bell. The replacement is being called a sister bell as it was made between 1860 and 1890 in the same New York foundry. It’s being fitted with an automatic ringing system and will be placed in its new home atop the University centerpiece in the next several months. The first round of repairs on Old Capitol should be complete early next year at a cost of more than six million dollars.
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