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  • Luckiest guy in the USA

    After having owned everything even remotely called an organ----only to find that many of them were little more than 'organ-shaped objects--I think it is safe to say I've seen just all there is to see in the way of electronic organs. When the price tag of some of the top electronic organs left most of us in sticker shock, I felt certain I would be stuck with an ancient Hammond as my go-to practice organ until perdition.

    My mother was a pioneer in the real estate market, back when women were expected to be much like June Cleaver and stay at home wearing her high heels and best pearls. My mother began her own real estate agency early on and became quite well known throughout the United States. While she appreciated the fact that I did not care for electronic organs, I don't think she realized just what a unique opportunity came her way until two years ago.

    She owned the land upon which a large main-stream religion decided to erect their new building. A few years after the building's dedication, it was decided to hire Casavant install an 80+ rank pipe organ. The organ had special significance to me and my family since my grandfather worked for Casavant in their voicing department most of his adult life, and this Casavant was his final project before his passing. I am not sure about their particular financial issues, but it was decided that the church would be forced to close their doors. Since my mother owned the land, it was only a logical decision for her to place the winning bid on the church. I was already familiar with the organ and I was beyond speechless when she told me she now owned the church. She and I quickly negotiated a contract and within a year of red tape, I became the owner of the church and the wonderful organ. I was fortunate enough to hire a wonderful architect who was delighted to work with me in converting the church into a wonderful new modern home with what is probably the world's largest 'practice organ' ever! Nothing beats dumb luck.

    It has been a long transition, but I could not be happier with my new organ that conveniently has a home attached for good measure. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of getting up first thing in the morning and going into the sanctuary and watching the early morning sunlight peering thru the wonderful stained-glass windows, then airing out this big Casavant. I something think surely this must be a dream. It is for me anyway!

  • #2
    =-O =-O

    Wow!

    I had an opportunity to buy a small church to convert into a home, twenty-five years ago. It did not come with an organ though. I passed because I get very emotional being in churches, which bothers me because I fear I'll forget that The Church isn't a building.

    This is amazing! I'm very happy for you!

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    • #3
      What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. It would be nice if you could also post some pictures and the stop list.

      How very nice for you.

      Bill
      Bill

      My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

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      • #4
        Watertown,

        Great story. Thanks for sharing. This Fall/Winter, I'll have to go to my new garage to practice, but it will be nice--nothing like your situation, though. How nice that the last organ your father voiced actually came back to the family.

        Any chance we would get more particulars--share photos?

        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by myorgan View Post
          Any chance we would get more particulars--share photos?
          Seconded...
          Viscount C400 3-manual
          8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
          Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
            Seconded...
            And third-ed ! Lots of photos even. I realize there may be some privacy concerns with sharing too many, but you can be selective and not show your actual living spaces.

            Ive always thought that would be an ideal situation for us organists. I have looked at a few older churches with the idea of buying them cheap, but the building repair and maintenance issues were just too costly. Of course those issues are usually one of the reasons those churches are for sale anyhow.
            Regards, Larry

            At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

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            • #7
              An 80 rank Casavant. That must be some building! I am truly delighted for you, but I might suggest you start amassing a library of organ repair texts, if you haven't already. Regular maintenance is part and parcel of owning a pipe organ. But to wake up each morning to the thought of "I own an 80 rank Casavant!" is a thrill that won't get old in a hurry!

              Tony
              Home: Johannus Opus 370

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
                And third-ed ! Lots of photos even. I realize there may be some privacy concerns with sharing too many, but you can be selective and not show your actual living spaces.

                Ive always thought that would be an ideal situation for us organists. I have looked at a few older churches with the idea of buying them cheap, but the building repair and maintenance issues were just too costly. Of course those issues are usually one of the reasons those churches are for sale anyhow.
                Don't forget heating, cooling, lighting cost, and long term maintenance...

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