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Sad News on my home church

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  • Sad News on my home church

    The church just this past Sunday voted to demolish the historic church and build something new.

    background on the Reuter 822....

    My 5 Rank unit Reuter pipe organ came out of my family church about 2 years ago after they got a new electric.

    At the time I purchased the Reuter with the intention of putting it back in the church someday.

    Klein asked about some of the remaining organ parts I had not yet removed from the church (swell shades)....
    yes before the wrecking ball hits I'll take the shades, screen and screen frame.

    Photo of the screen & frame are at the webpage I made using photographs while the organ was still in the church:

    I'm really not sure what I'll do with those but who knows maybe i can put them and the organ in the new church someday.

  • #2
    Re: Sad News on my home church


    It will be interesting to see if there are plans to include a place for a pipe organ (chambers or floor space as many Lutherans like trackers, hee hee). If not it's digitals forever!

    - N


    • #3
      Re: Sad News on my home church

      What a lovely little church! Such a shame that it is being torn down.


      • #4
        Re: Sad News on my home church

        Why would they tear that down? It looks gorgeous! Are there structural issues or something?

        Tell them they can always use extra space wherever you'd like the organ to sit. you can sell it as "Storage space" :O) until they are ready to have the pipe organ back.


        • #5
          Re: Sad News on my home church

          I love old churches, cathedrals, buildings of worship. It might sound weird coming from me, but its very true.

          How much would it cost to save this church? I doubt that the costs needed to refurbish it (not that it needs it) are greater than the costs of a total new building.

          Seems a bit of a hasty decision for them, they might be doing something that is very regretful.

          Save all that you can NYCfarmboy, and take as many pictures as you can.


          • #6
            Re: Sad News on my home church

            I'm so sorry to hear about the news, NYCFarmboy. I know what it's like to lose your home church and it feels awful.

            I love historic old churches. To use an old saying, "they don't make them like they used to." Around here, the new modern churches look more like community hockey arenas - one big box of concrete and lots of glass. Some of them even think about acoustics, organ placement, etc. as an afterthought once the building is put together. Good grief!

            I hope the the new church building will be a pretty one - I also hope they go pipe too!
            Why did they decide to demolish the lovely building anyways?

            Glad to see you rescued the Reuter. Replacing a pipe organ with a toaster oven! Yikes!
            I saw the pictures of the Reuter - very nice.

            Will keep you in my prayers. Losing a home church hurts.


            • #7
              Re: Sad News on my home church

              reason for the demolition:

              it was said that when they installed air conditioning ducts in the early 1980's they cut holes thru the floor support beams and stuck the ac ducts directlyt hru the beams.

              Inside the church there is a slight upward slant in the middle of the church. I myself am not sure there wasn't always the slant.

              It could be corrected, but...

              The congregation does has a large amount of money given over years for the "new church fund" which they want to spend on a new church.... as using that money for anything else would be against the wishes of those who gave.

              so beware of "new church fund" envelopes if you have a historic church!

              another point..the congregation does not want to maintain two churches which is understandable. Basically the upkeep on the old church would be unchanged (estimated at around 10,000 a year factoring in a new roof on occasion etc).

              As to the historic nature, the building dates fromt he 1850's, and an addition was added to house the alter sometime in the 1920's.

              It is the last all wood church from the 1800's in our county.

              It will be interesting to see what can be saved to be incorporated into the new church. I know the stained glass windows will somehow be used in the new church, I'd like to see perhaps the alter, and pulpets used as well but that will depend on the style which has not been determined yet.

              And..yes it does hurt....

              it is losing a place I grew up going to, but maybe the new church will be better accoustically. I doubt it though. I'm pretty sure it will be all upholstered seats, carpeting, and that they will just use the Allen organ they got to replace the pipe organ.


              • #8
                Re: Sad News on my home church


                Wow ...

                I'm sorry to hear that's the reason. Well, I'm sorry to hear that you all are losing your church period. I've been in the same church all my life (a whopping 27 years). I can't imagine being anywhere else.

                Hopefully you will be included in the new design. And I hope they listen to you on the acoustic front. Our church over the years has, in stages, installed acoustic tile on ceiling, then carpet in the aisles, then carpet on the stage for the choir, then carpet under the pews, then new padding on the backs of the pews. Everything was an "improvement" meant to make things look nicer and more comfortable. Every step of the way the music program has taken a downhill turn because of the "improvements."

                Not mentioning this as a pity party for our church (we are actually un-doing some of that mess now). Only to say that they need to get you involved and there is probably no shortage of us on here that can support you in a drive for strong acoustics for your music program.

                I'll pray that in the end this becomes an opportunity to improve and grow your church and that this period is as short and easy on you as possible. - Jim


                • #9
                  Re: Sad News on my home church

                  NYC Farmboy,
                  From what you mentioned in your last post, this is truly an historic building. Are there no organizations in that area that could step and attempt to get the building saved? Even if a new church was built, the old building could be used as maybe a recital hall or even a chapel for the new building.


                  • #10
                    Re: Sad News on my home church

                    That aspect has been talked about (of seeing what is involved in having the building placed on a historic registry).

                    The vote to demolish was ALSO because the vast majority didn't want to fund maintenance on the old building (estimated at around 10K a year), and a preliminary 40, to 50k to set it up as a chapel. The old sunday school building attached to it was added in the 1950's, and when it gets torn down as well the old church would have to be retrofitted with a enttrance etc.

                    We had hoped to at least save the old church as a wedding chapel/funeral chapel (it is next to the cemetary) and it would have been ideal for that....

                    But in the end, it was a very strong majority of the congregation that wants to demolish the old church (the vote was almost 80% to demolish, only 20% or less to save).

                    There are opportunities for the new structure, including working on having improved accoustics, and to have the building built to house a pipe organ even if it were not included in the beginning.

                    The carpeting, seat cushions, and alter treatments did away with all reverberation by the 1990's, so I will try to get that point across for the new building.

                    Again though, there are two sides on this, I am obviously in the small minority.

                    In the end what brought about the end of the church was the NEW CHURCH FUND. There was just so much money given over the years for that, that a vast majority feel it has to be spent.

                    If you have a historic church that should be saved and have such envelopes I'd suggest making contributions for a new church always to a combined "NEW CHURCH/RESTORATION" fund.

                    I ended up with the pipe organ so i have a awesome momento for myself personally but it is still so sad to see this happening.


                    As to other buidling uses such as a recital hall, it would be a great idea if the accoustics were improved, however the location of the church is 10 miles from no where, it really is just a simple country church out in the sticks so alternatate uses are limited, especially with the cemetary being right next to it in the rear.

                    Its not over yet though, hopefully the new building process will take a few years and perhaps the congregation will change its mind before when the church is in fact demolished.

                    Photo from 2 days ago: