Clark and Morgan: Storke Tower and Communications Plaza, 1969

  • Santa Barbara, California, USA, Show on map
  • #EDU #North America
  • Storke Tower and Plaza is located in the center of the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The campanile houses a 61-bell carillon 53 m over the campus, while the sunken plaza features a rectangular reflecting pool. Offices at the base of the tower house the university newspaper and radio station, reflecting the namesake of the complex, Thomas M. Storke, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and U.S. senator who participated in the founding of the university. The complex was cast-in-place with board-formed, steel-reinforced concrete and sandblasted.

  • The building is still in active use, despite evidence of leaks and structural issues. In 2003, the reflecting pool was converted into a partially self-sustaining aquatic ecosystem with koi and lilies as a cost-saving measure. The mechanical systems of the carillon have deteriorated due to the humid marine environment, with periodic shutdowns since 1994. Likewise, rust has entered the concrete reinforcing, and though some remedial work has been undertaken to slow the process, the rust has begun to spall.

    (Written by Alanna Simone asrd