In 1681, the great Christopher Wren was called upon to add a bell tower (today known as Tom Tower) to the unfinished gatehouse of the Great Quadrangle of Christ Church in Oxford.
Witold Rybczynski is emeritus professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. His latest book is Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City. This essay appeared in The American Interest, Vol. 15, No. 1, and is used with permission.