Source: N. Manchester News Journal, Nov 3, 2010:
Peabody Tower Rededication Thursday
Constructed in 1937, Peabody Retirement Community’s Singing Memorial Tower offers a commanding presence. The 110 foot Tower is visible for several miles outside the town, especially at night when it is dramatically lighted.
The Tower will be re-dedicated on Thursday, November 4th at 4 p.m.
After a five year process spearheaded by Al Schlitt, the Tower was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Al Schlitt, a local attorney and member of the Peabody Board of Trustees, worked with local historians Allan White and Cathy Wright of the Indiana Landmarks Foundation to complete the nomination for the Tower to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The application was submitted in March of 2009 and formal notice was received in August of 2010.
According to Mary Owens, Peabody’s Director of Development, “The focus of the November 4th event will be to celebrate the history of the Peabody family legacy symbolized beautifully by the Tower. “In addition,” Mary concluded, “The public is cordially invited to attend this program celebrating a Wabash County hall mark structure.”
The Tower is the symbol of the philanthropic work of the Peabody family, whose gift of the Estelle Peabody Memorial Home is associated with the larger culture of philanthropy in the early 20th century wealthy. When Mrs. Estelle Peabody died in 1928, her husband, James sought ways to commemorate her life and worked with the Columbia City Presbyterian Church. This combined effort created a community for the aged, a relatively innovative concept at that time. Construction on the Peabody Singing Tower and Chapel began in 1936 by Thomas Peabody in memory of James and Estelle Peabody, his parents.
Peabody is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community that has served area residents for almost 80 years with a comprehensive choice of quality, affordable living arrangements to accommodate every stage in seniors’ lives. The Presbyterian affiliated 33 acre, secure, landscaped campus includes maintenance-free one story cottages for Independent Living, beautifully designed Assisted Living apartments with support services, one of the region’s best Memory Care programs, a dedicated short-term rehabilitation center along with an extensive Long Term Care Center.
Source: Wabash Plain Dealer, Nov 10, 2010; article by Sheila Rhoades:
Singing tower is rededicated
Structure now listed in National Register of Historic Places
The Rev. Sue Babovec, Peabody Retirement Community chaplain, gave the dedication prayer to welcome back the restored Peabody Memorial Tower recently.
“There are five Peabodys entombed there,” she said. “We stand on holy ground.”
The Peabodys were a beloved North Manchester family who were well known for their philanthropy and charitable hearts.
The renovations were made possible through a $150,000 donation by the late Betty Krom, a Peabody South House resident, who had lived there for more than 25 years.
Cathy Wright, executive director of the Indiana Landmarks Foundation, went a step further.
“Peabody Seating stayed open for three days a week during the depression,” she said, “just so people would have some work.
“They also sent furniture to San Francisco following the earthquake,” she added.
But Wright was on hand for a very special announcement – the Peabody “Singing” Tower was now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Constructed in 1937, the 110-foot tower was built by Thomas Peabody in memory of his parents, James and Estelle Peabody. Their remains were moved from Beverly Hills, Calif., to be interred in the mausoleum in the base of the tower. Over the years, Thomas, his wife, Mary M. and daughter, Mary K. Peabody were all laid to rest on the Peabody campus.
Designed after the 205-foot Bok Tower in Wales, Fla., the structure was built of limestone, brick and polished granite. It contains carillon speakers and marks the time with Westminster chimes, providing music each day at noon and 6 p.m.
An article on the Singing Tower, written by Wright, can be found in the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of Indiana Preservationist.