Bells Unwelcome Wake-Up Call in Downtown Dallas

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010  |  Updated 10:29 AM CDT
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Residents complain when Thanksgiving Square bells begin to ring at 6 a.m.

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW

Residents complain when Thanksgiving Square bells begin to ring at 6 a.m.

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The bells in Downtown Dallas' Thanksgiving Square are ringing again, but some residents aren't thankful.

The city has received dozens of complaints from residents who have been woken up by the newly repaired bells.

Kathleen Wilkes wakes up to the sound of the bells every morning, long before her alarm clock goes off. The rings ring every hour starting at 6 a.m., she said.

"I think they should definitely move the hours back later in the day -- 6 a.m. is just really, really early," she said.

Weighing over 10,000 pounds, the bells have been a fixture on Pacific Avenue for more than 30 years. The bells were silent for six months while crews repaired them, but they began ringing again on Nov. 24.

While some residents consider the bells a nuisance, others say it is part of the charm of living downtown.

"Your windows are open, you may hear them, but it's just like the train going through; you hear it every morning," said Chuck Love, who lives and works in a high-rise next to Thanksgiving Square. "It's something you get used to, something you almost can't live without."

But the president of Downtown Dallas Inc. said he hears the residents who can't live with the bells loud and clear.

"We've talked to the Thanksgiving Foundation," John Crawford said. "It was an accident that they went off at 6 a.m. That shouldn't be a problem much longer."

He said the Thanksgiving Foundation plans to reprogram the bells to ring between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The plan is music to Wilke's ears.

"That's more like it!," she said.

A spokesperson for the Thanksgiving Foundation said its expect the bells to be reprogrammed by Thursday.

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