Thompson Hall Clocktower from the Inside Out

Thompson Hall was first built in 1893 on land donated by Benjamin Thompson. It was the first home of the University of New Hampshire. The tower is the prominent feature of this landmark. What does the inside look like?

Slideshow: Bridget Finnegan, UNH New and Emerging Media and Erika Mantz, UNH Media Relations

Photos: Lisa Nugent, UNH Photographic Services

Watch and listen to Guy Eaton, UNH Campus Communication Coordinator as he gives a tour of the tower.

Exterior view of the Thompson Hall

Thompson Hall was given a facelift in 2006. The building's historic clock and weathervane were restored as well, and when the weathervane was taken down a time capsule was discovered under its metal cap. The small copper box had originally been placed there in 1892 when T-Hall was built and was first found in 1953 after a series of hurricanes passed through town and knocked the weathervane done. The contents of that box as well as a new steel cylinder filled with business cards from all of the companies involved in the project, photos of those who work in T-Hall and of the project team, and a newspaper article describing the present ongoing renovations.  

Side view of the house showing graphiti.

The mechanics of the clock are contained within a small house in the tower. Goffstown resident Phil D'Avanza, a clockmaker and tower clock restoration specialist brought T-Hall's three-faced E. Howard clock back to its natural grace in 2006, restoring the iron frames of the 60-inch face—12 pieces in all—and installing new glass.

side view of the mechanics

The mechanics of the clock are visible through a window in the house. At the time of the restoration D'Avanza also took the clock's mechanism apart and built a custom designed automatic rewind system to replace the old crank.

photo of ornately carved Senior Canes

Over the years, UNH students, faculty, staff and alums have signed their names on the house with some signatures dating back to the 1800s.

Mark Huddleston's signature.

Mark Huddleston signed the house in 2010.

Signatures of members of the class of 1928 and 1924.

Members of the class of 1923, 1924 and 1928 have signed the wall as well.

panorama view of campus

The view from the tower. To see a larger image.