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Former Trinity Wall Street Pipe Organ Being Relocating

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  • Former Trinity Wall Street Pipe Organ Being Relocating

    Hi all,

    I saw the following article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The former Trinity Wall Street pipe organ will be relocated to Johns Creek United Methodist Church. The article is here. The text is below.

    Churches aim to restore organ after terror attacks

    By JEFF MARTIN
    The Associated Press

    JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — A pipe organ that had been housed inside a New York church ruined by dust from the Sept. 11 terror attacks may soon have a new home in Georgia.

    The massive pipe organ from Trinity Wall Street is being donated to Johns Creek United Methodist Church outside Atlanta. It hasn't been played since it was dismantled in the days after the attacks.

    The Rev. Beth Brown Shugart, pastor of worship and music at Johns Creek, says officials hope to have the organ in place in about a year. The church is building a new sanctuary to house it.

    The organ still has yet to be cleaned, and it's not known how much dust from the disaster got inside the organ's pipes. It's being restored at a workshop in New England.
    Later,
    Allen
    Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

    YouTube Channel

  • #2
    I think that is wonderful news. Unless the pipes were physically damaged, I would think they could be successfully cleaned and re-used. Perhaps the relocated instrument will be somewhat smaller than the original?

    David

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    • #3
      Too bad Trinity Wall St went pipeless. M&O is pretty impressive, but you'll NEVER beat a real organ!

      Comment


      • #4
        Nikolaos,

        Regarding the pipe organ that used to reside in Trinity Wall Street NYC, a few facts as they were relayed to me.

        The pipe organ was never in tip top shape even when the last major re-work was done around 1970. Some say it was a poor job as Aoelian-Skinner was heading for bankrupcy. Because it was worked on so much tonally, increasingly it became a huge mongrel organ.

        Also, the cost of maintenance and tuning was also very high, I was told as much as $40,000 per annum.

        I agree a fine pipe organ is to be preferred, but the M&O is one fine instrument. The M&O was originally installed as a temporary instrument. I understand it is now considered a permanent installation.

        But, with the history that Trinity Wall Street has over the years, something else is likely to be in there some day.

        For those who talk about pipe organs lasting centuries, one is astonished how frequently Trinity changed organs, or made changes to their instrument.

        AV

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        • #5
          Hi all,

          I saw another report about this. It was on one of the local TV news programs. I found the following story on their website. It is quoted below for your convenience.

          Metro Church To Restore Organ Damaged In 9/11 Attacks
          Posted: 4:51 pm EDT June 2, 2011
          Updated: 5:44 pm EDT June 2, 2011

          JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- A church organ damaged in the 9/11 attacks on New York City and destined to be thrown away will find a new home in metro Atlanta.

          Johns Creek United Methodist organist Randy Elkins' told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik that the church had been searching for a pipe organ to put in a new sanctuary the church plans to build.

          Elkins contacted a clearing house where churches find organs and learned about one that was damaged in the Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church in Lower Manhattan when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

          "Trinity Wall Street wanted to let that organ go, but knew it needed a new home,” he said. “They were about to throw it out.”

          Elkins told Petchenik he knew he had to save the treasured instrument.

          “My teachers have played on it. All of the most famous organists around the world of the last half of the 20th century have played that organ,” he said.

          Church music pastor Beth Brown Shugart told Petchenik that Johns Creek UMC is honored to play a part in restoring and recycling the organ.

          “Aeolian-Skinner is just a fabulous instrument,” she said. “It’s an American-made instrument, it survived 9/11, and it’s coming here.”

          Elkins said the restoration project would cost the congregation between $1.5 million and $2 million, a fraction of what a new pipe organ would run. He said it could take up to four years for the organ to be restored and brought to Atlanta.

          Copyright 2011 by WSBTV.com. All rights reserved.
          Later,
          Allen
          Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

          YouTube Channel

          Comment


          • #6
            I say it is TWS's loss, because try as they might, the Monster & Obscenity they installed is still a toaster, a very fancy toaster, but a toaster none the less, and it sounds like it. I will be glad to see TWS put a real organ in place of that overgrown countertop appliance.

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            • #7
              As to TWS's loss, I couldn't agree more. I attended the dedication of the instrument, played by Paul Callaway in the very early 60's (Teenager). I have not heard it since, so have no idea what changes were made in the 70's.
              The advances in digital instruments and the Hauptwerk phenomenon have a place. A CC, plus the associated acoustics in my home? Oh yes!!!!
              I certainly look forward to learning all the details as they become available.
              Could the New England builder be Andover????
              Pete

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              • #8
                Trinity Wall Street is the wealthiest parish in the world. A church that owns a significant fraction of downtown Manhattan land can afford a pipe organ. In the most highly respected manual on Anglican church furnishing and ceremonial, _The Parson's Handbook_, which has gone through many editions, Percy Dearmer expresses his disgust for fakery in general, and the nearer a church sanctuary it is, the more disgusting it is. The likes of fake candles and artificial flowers are unethical in his estimation. Ethics and aesthetics are generally considered separate branches of philosophy, but it is easy in this case to see a relationship. Fakery is in poor taste because it is dishonest.

                I can understand a church buying an electronic organ when it cannot afford the real thing (such churches a hundred years ago would have installed harmoniums, and there were a lot of them); but when a church that can afford the real thing instead goes to unprecedented lengths and great expense to make fakery indistinguishable from it, the offense is arguably aggravated. Not only does this set a bad example to the church at large, but it is a blot on the reputation of the church that perpretrates it. Of course there are members of Trinity Wall Street who are quite cognizant of this near-scandal. May they not be placated until normalcy is restored.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It seems the lead organist at TWS did the proper thing in my eyes. Because of the dust issue he refused to start the organ after the 9/11 attack. Now, I have not had a lot of experience with pipe organs but it seems to me he was right.
                  Allen T 12B

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                  • #10
                    I would be completely unsurprised if, in a few years, a new pipe organ replaces the M&O, once some of the powers that be shift a bit. And it will be because someone with a lot of money or the ability to influence others who have it takes this project on as their passion. And it will not be because of any perceived shortcomings of the M&O organ as much as it will be for enduring artistic reasons.

                    The older I get, the more I agree that there really is something to the aesthetics part of things- that an electronic organ, as good as it might be sonically, communicates differently to the listener than a pipe organ. Sometimes, a pipe organ might even be inferior sonically in terms of raw quality, but it still communicates more organically and authentically.

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                    • #11
                      I was told pipe organs were built for the room they were to occupy. How does that change if like in this case the organ is being moved?
                      Allen T 12B

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
                        The older I get, the more I agree that there really is something to the aesthetics part of things- that an electronic organ, as good as it might be sonically, communicates differently to the listener than a pipe organ. Sometimes, a pipe organ might even be inferior sonically in terms of raw quality, but it still communicates more organically and authentically.
                        AMEN!

                        I agree wholeheartedly, however as an earlier poster wrote--
                        Originally posted by Paul Emmons
                        I can understand a church buying an electronic organ when it cannot afford the real thing. . . .
                        Unfortunately, in these economic times, many people/churches/organizations cannot afford a "real" organ, so they have to use something else.

                        In my case, an organization I'm associated with was nearly $500,000 in debt when their performing space underwent necessary renovations. One person was pushing them to install and build around a pipe organ, even when there was no space or money to expand or accommodate such a request. This organization hadn't had any organ except a bottom-of-the-barrel "rental," a keyboard, or in one case, a spinet home organ for any performances in the previous 20 years. I was able to secure an appropriate instrument for them. My thinking is that when it dies (as it eventually will), the listeners will then have an expectation of good organ sound, and will be suitably prepared for the pipe organ conversation and, as someone else mentioned, a donor will have the pockets to make it happen.

                        Until then . . . .:->

                        Michael
                        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nullifier View Post
                          I was told pipe organs were built for the room they were to occupy. How does that change if like in this case the organ is being moved?
                          If the room is a similar size and has a similar acoustic the organ can be re-voiced / re-regulated to the room. There are limits to this of course. As an example; I used to service an organ that was originally in a typical late 19th century church that seated approx. 200. The congregation built a new sanctuary in the 1980s that was typical of those times - auditorium style, everything carpeted and padded and much larger than the old building - at least double the capacity. The old organ's pipework, a Midmer tracker, was put on electric chests and fitted with a supply house console. It simply couldn't cut it. The scales were far too small to fill the room despite jacking up the wind pressure and opening up the toes. A organ with large scale pipework and a better design would have been able to fill that room but as it was, they were playing it full blast all of the time. On the other hand, I have seen many successful "transplants". The key is obtaining an organ builder who knows what he is doing and has the courage to say "this organ will not be successful in this room." In the aforementioned case, the "organbuilder" was notorious for jerry-rigging any old junk into anywhere.

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