Hello world!

Yes, the original Finkenbeiner Quartz Carillon from the LA Triforium still exists and for the most part is in good shape but is non-functional due to the bolt cutters that were used to disconnect the keyboard console from the quartz bells.  In fact, it was the exact moment when the cutters went through the cable that I entered the picture and is how I ended up owning the instrument.  As I was walking to get lunch, I saw the door of the control room open and stopped by to see if they were finally going to repair the Carillon and bring it back on-line.  Instead, what I saw was a worker with large bolt cutters slicing through a thick cable and beside him a big pile of electronics lying on the floor.

When I asked the workers what was going on, they said they were getting rid of this thing that nobody knows anything about.  I asked what they were going to do with the carillon and they said it was going to salvage.  So, a long story short… I won the bid and I’ve been storing it ever since.

I intend to get it working again but it is not something that will happen soon.  I’m thinking that it will be a retirement project and that’s not for at least another seven years.

…and yes I don’t know what I’m doing with WordPress, but I just got the Dummies book and intend to put it under my pillow starting tonight.


15 Responses to “Hello world!”


    Hello Phil,
    Just came across your interesting comments this evening, and am fascinated by the number of people who have been affected, one way or another, by the work that my late husband, Joseph Young, accomplished.
    I, along with my daughters, Leslie Young and Cecily Young, would be interested in the possibility of making contact with you. Your comment about this perhaps being some-
    thing of a “retirement project” intrigued us., aside from the first question: Who was in charge of the dismantling, and from which city department? We are very curious.

    Sincerely, Mimi Young

  2. Phil says:


    First, I am sorry it took so long for me to reply but you are the first person to leave a comment on the triforiumcarillon.com page except for all the spam it picks up so I stopped monitoring the sites messages.

    I created the site so anyone researching the Triforium would see that the Carillon element was still intact, unfortunately not as part of the original installation. Hearing the carillon bells and seeing the lights as a young adult made quite an impression on me but never could I have dreamed that I would some day own the carillon portion.

    I don’t remember who was in charge of dismantling it or which department was involved, but I would guess it would have gone through the City’s Cultural Affair’s Office. Cultural Affair’s is aware that it is still intact and that I own it as I was at a meeting pertaining to another public art project and just out of curiosity I asked if anybody remembered the Triforium’s Carillon which piqued their interest. So it was quite a shock when I announced that I owned it. One of the people said they were wondering what had happened to it.

    The carillon and the keyboard console is packed into the corner of my garage and is in good shape except for a layer of dust and two broken bells that the manufacture (Finkenbeiner Carillon of Waltham, Mass) said could be repaired.

    I am glad that you got in contact with me and will be happy to answer any additional questions

  3. mar says:

    Hi, I just came back from looking at the triforium. Since it was late at night when I went by I was wondering does it still light up and play music. I must say that I miss the water not too fond of the greener underneath it.

    I have a lot of fond memories of seeing the Triforium in it’s glory as a young kid and was happy to find it again.

    Please contact me if you know then it is playing. I have a few friends who are curious of what it looks like when the lights are working.


  4. Ed Storck says:

    I would really love to see the carillon back where it belongs. By now the Trifouium has gained some respect, which it surely deserves. I remember seeing it back when it was first dedicated, and it made an impression on me as well. I had forgotten about it for many years, until it saw it in an old Charles Bronson movie.

    To me it is always amazing how many people have no interest in emerging art and don’t get it until it comes around the second time, enhanced by “nostalgia”. The Triforium is truely a unique part of LA history during a time of futuristic architecture that is slowing disappearing. It will be too late when the public discovers they let another piece of LA history die. I hope you get it going! let me know if there is any way I can help.

  5. Peter says:

    I was in LA this past August, and while a walking around downtown came across the Triforium. Somehow I remembered it from my childhood (nowhere near LA and only an occasional visitor) and found it a still-fascinating piece of public art. The idea of a carillon makes sense and helps explain the form of the Triforium. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Mike Maggio says:

    When I lived in LA back in the 70’s and 80’s, I used to love to go downtown and hear the Carillon. During my recent trip to LA in January, I did not get a chance to see it though it did come to mind. Now, in doing some research for a poem I am writing, I need to know if it has been restored yet to working order. Does it ring yet, like it used to? Is it true that the sound has been replaced by something electronic?

    Mike Maggio

  7. Paul Rowe says:

    In 1989 our company, Maas-Rowe, installed one of our Digital Chronobell systems for striking the hours and sounding the Westminster Chimes. This uses struck metal “miniature bells” which are amplified, through speakers. This was done after we had been in contact with the people at the Triforium for many years and they never were able to get the original unit to work reliably, if at all. We also provided carillon music, recorded from our Symphonic Carillon instrument using tape, and later on CD.

    Unlike the company that made the glass carillon, we have thousands of installations and support them even after many years. Local places with our carillons include UCLA, USC, CSU Northridge, San Diego State, UC San Diego, The California Tower – Balboa Park, and many others.

    At this moment, we don’t know whether our equipment at the Triforium is still in service because the contact numbers we had on file are no longer valid.

    Does anyone know who to contact?

  8. Phil says:


    Sorry to take so long to reply but I don’t monitor the Triforium site very often.

    The people you need to contact are with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). The phone number found on their website (www.culturela.org) is 213.202.5500. I don’t any other information regarding your equipment, except to say the last time I was down their they were using a CD player that was located in the Subways sandwich shop as the source feeding the sound system.


  9. Phil says:


    Sadly it sits quietly in the corner of my garage and the last time I heard sound coming from the Triforium the source was from a CD player.

    Let me know when you complete your poem, so I can reference it on this site.


  10. Devlin says:

    I ride by this all the time. I never knew what this work of art was all about. I am sad to not have know the Triforium in its glory days. I wonder if there is a video clip.

    Phil I would love to see this treasure of a musical instrument. There is a huge resource of techs from the music industry that could make sense or modify the equipment to run as true to its original character. Mostly likely the computer that controlled the system is a lost cause.

    I’m looking forward to hearing those hammers strike the bells!

  11. Phil says:


    I too would love to hear those bells ring again especially in the original location and with the original lights.


  12. Fred Northrop says:


    Sounds like a really fun retirement project. I hope you have a plan for the Carillon after your passing. I would be a shame to see it end up in the rubbish. I loved the Triforium on evenings in the sixties and seventies.

  13. Tony says:

    I see there’s a new effort to restore this sculpture to its original condition. It would be great to see the carillon as part of that?

  14. Phil says:


    My co-worker Sarah (Thanks Sarah!) sent me the link to triforium.la and I hope the site generates the support needed to bring the Triforium back to its full glory.

    As for the Carillon, I agree. All I need now is the time to work on it.


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