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  • Organ builder / identify help



    Hello everyone! I attend/practice at a church on the southside of Chicago that was built in 1926, and the organ that was originally installed is still in place, with all pipes. Only difference is the console was modernized by a company, I cannot recall the name now. The organ is in disrepair, and I cannot find a builder, maker, or any mark anywhere!



    This is where I need help. . . Where could I possibly find out who built this organ, and what year or any further information? The current console is 3 manual...other than that I included some of the stops, and other pictures of specific pipes could be taken if necessary.





    Here's a link to a wiki about the church http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael%27s_in_Chicago



    Help please! thanks in advance :)































    [img]file:///C:/Users/Andrew/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/img][img]file:///C:/Users/Andrew/Pictures/Organ/DSC00346.JPG[/img]


  • #2
    Re: Organ builder / identify help



    The wiki article says the edifice is from 1090 not 1926





    Also the spec is for a modern organ along american classic/neo classic and seems more like 60s 70s or later

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Organ builder / identify help



      building is 1909




      notice the pic that the former choir tabs have been reduced in number and there are blank spaces on the choir stop rail

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      • #4
        Re: Organ builder / identify help

        ah yes you are correct, that was a typo on the date - sorry...and what was the second part you were saying? This is the original organ installed in the church...

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        • #5
          Re: Organ builder / identify help



          The Organ Historical Society Database shows a St Michaels in Chicago with an organ from 1908:




          MP Moeller from 1908:





          http://organsociety.bsc.edu/SingleOr...?OrganID=40728





          Hope this helps - if it is the right St Michaels. The date is certainly on target.

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          • #6
            Re: Organ builder / identify help

            The console isn't much help since it's a standard supply house model.

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            • #7
              Re: Organ builder / identify help

              The tabs shown in the pic of this console are NOT 1909 in design nor is the engraved spec. The entire organ was rebuilt tonally either in the 60s 70s or later. Also the black couplers are not typical of Moller and note that the Positiv tabs are fewer in number than the previous choir tabs.

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              • #8
                Re: Organ builder / identify help

                Looking at the photos, and seeing all the dust, I can't help but wonder who takes care of this instrument - if at all.

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                • #9
                  Re: Organ builder / identify help



                  Etiennne, the organ hardly functions. There was a leak in the roof a while back that all but destroyed the left chamber, which housed the swell and part of the great. The right chamber is in disrepair since it wasn't played after the leak. There simply isnt enough money to repair it. It was estimated at 1 mill just to bring it back to life.





                  So to answer your question, Yes it is dusty and no one takes care of it. I am just interested in finding more about it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Organ builder / identify help

                    no, the console was modernized. it is from the 60's, 70's. Is there any definite way to determine if this indeed a Moller?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Organ builder / identify help



                      Surely the church has records, or minutes of old meetings, etc.




                      Or, how about going to the local library and looking at some newspapers of the era - when a church instaled an organ of that size, there would surely have been an article in the paper.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Organ builder / identify help



                        My good uninformed friend:




                        Why would a console be modernized to a new spec NOT original?




                        if you think the spec on the tabs is from 1909 then your knowledge of organ design in America is woefully lacking.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Organ builder / identify help

                          [quote user="iamskee"]


                          Etiennne, the organ hardly functions. There was a leak in the roof a while back that all but destroyed the left chamber, which housed the swell and part of the great. The right chamber is in disrepair since it wasn't played after the leak. There simply isnt enough money to repair it. It was estimated at 1 mill just to bring it back to life.





                          So to answer your question, Yes it is dusty and no one takes care of it. I am just interested in finding more about it.




                          [/quote]




                          To determine if it was a Moller, take a few pictures of the interior...chests, pipes etc.. If you can get a close up of low C of an older looking rank, the stamping on it will probably show the opus number.




                          As to costing "1 mil" just to get it going again, that's way too high an estimate for an organ of that size. You could replace with it with all new pipes and actions for less than that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Organ builder / identify help



                            I did a search on the name of the church and found there are several "St. Michael" ones in Chicago. From the picture of the exterior, this would appear to be "St. Michael the Archangel" at 8235 South Shore Drive. The OHS does not give that as the name of the church with the Möller, but they could have just shortened it. The Parish History document is very interesting, and includes a statement that the grand piano was once owned by Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous composer. (Not unusual, I suppose, given that the church was originally built to service Polish immigrants.) The history does not include any mention of the organ, unfortunately. However, it does say that the present facility is the third to exist on the site and was built in 1909; if the Möller organ in question was built in 1908, that would seem to be an impossibility (although I suppose it is possible that much of the construction was finished in 1908--enough to permit installation of the organ--and the final facility was not finished until sometime in 1909).




                            That "1 million dollars" figure might also include the cost to repair the organ chambers, etc. That would certainly be something that would need to be done to restore the instrument to full function, I would think. (And this is Chicago, after all, where construction costs would be pretty high.)




                            David

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Organ builder / identify help

                              [quote user="pipecutter"][quote user="iamskee"]

                              [/quote]




                              To determine if it was a Moller, take a few pictures of the interior...chests, pipes etc.. If you can get a close up of low C of an older looking rank, the stamping on it will probably show the opus number.




                              As to costing "1 mil" just to get it going again, that's way too high an estimate for an organ of that size. You could replace with it with all new pipes and actions for less than that.



                              [/quote]





                              Ok, I will take more pictures this weekend of the inside. All of the ranks SHOULD be the same age, but I will start with the 16' flutes in the back...Thanks for the help though, much appreciated! I will post pics later for sure.

                              Comment

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