Alexander Konstantinovich Nikitin graduated from the engineering college of the Central Railroad Administration and came to Nizhny Novgorod in 1882 to take a position of a junior city architect. Beginning from 1890, he worked as a Diocesan Architect, the first appointee to a newly created position. In the 1890s, Nikitin was involved in the citywide planning reforms and urban development projects leading up to the opening of an All-Russia Industrial, Trade and Art Exhibition. As a Diocesan Architect, he worked tirelessly creating, rebuilding and renovating the church buildings within the diocese. The church buildings erected according to A.K. Nikitin's designs were notable for their characteristic silhouette, well thought out and, as a rule, rather laconic architectural design.
Before 1900, the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery had a belfry with bells located at the end of the Holy Kanavka next to the Tikhvin Church. The bell-tower's construction began in 1893 under Hegumenia Maria (Ushakova) and according to the design project by A.K. Nikitin, the Diocesan Architect.
When the bell-tower's construction was almost finished, it was discovered it had a tilt, which is noticeable even to this day. The construction was put on hold. In these adverse circumstances, Hegumenia Maria and the sisters set their hopes on Father Seraphim. Here is how Elena Ivanovna Motovilova recounted the events to the writer Sergey Nilus: "The news was announced to mother Hegumenia. 'Probably, this is what Father Seraphim needs,' was all our matushka told us. Next, a drop lead was hung in the middle of the bell-tower, with all of us left waiting for Father Seraphim's blessing of our next step. Even though we were told the bell-tower was likely to be demolished, we kept our faithful watch for some kind of command coming from father, to the glory of God and the monastery's benefit." The faith of the Diveyevo nuns was not put to shame. After careful consideration, the tilt was considered to be quite useful and the bell-tower was finished. A large clock placed on the top would strike at every hour: "Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" The northern and southern additions housed the monastery workshops.
Beginning with its groundbreaking ceremony on May 8, 1894, the construction of this magnificent bell-tower took eight years. On October 7/20 1901, after the Divine Liturgy and a prayer service at the Trinity Cathedral, its bells were raised and mounted with the blessing of His Eminence Nazariy (Kirillov), in the presence of all the sisters of the Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery and residents from the nearby villages. Hegumen Micah, the legendary bell-ringer from the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, made a historical reconstruction of the Diveyevo bells: one bell weighing 500 pud (8 tons), one – 200 pud (3.2 tons), 2 bells 80 pud each (1.28 tons), and 7 or 8 chiming bells. The bell-tower had three levels of ringing. The largest of the bells, weighing 500 pud, was bestowed to the monastery by the Nizhny Novgorod's merchants Ivan and Mitrophan M. Rukavishnikov.
The largest bell was rung on Sundays and during feast days. A smaller 200-pud one was used during Polyeleos at Vigil services. The two 80-pud bells were jointly rung at weekdays to call the sisters for meals and to prayer rule, as well as during Great Lent before the Matins service at 5 am. The chiming bells were always used during the singing of "In Your Kingdom" with Typical Psalms: the bell-ringer used the right-hand knot of 2 bells and the remaining 5 or 6 under her left hand. When a veiled nun passed away, a 200-pud bell was rung once while two 8-pud ones were used to mark the passing of a Ryassophore nun.