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What will happen???

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  • What will happen???



    I heard this story on NPR a day or so ago:




    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11848522




    It's about a church that is closing. It is a positive thing that most of the items will be used again by other churches, but... Tward the end of the story, the reporter makes mention that the massive pipe organ can not be salvaged. This was the saddest part for me. Does anyone know why it can not be passed on to another church just like the pews? Is it because it would require too much time and money? It seems that if they could take the time to chizzle out the marble alter, they could certainly save the pipework and/or the console, or at least parts of it. The story mentions other churches that are closing. Does anyone know if their pipe organs will be salvaged?


  • #2
    Re: What will happen???



    Hi Jessica,




    Thank you for the article and for thinking about this important issue. I will take the news media's "massive pipe organ" description with a grain of salt. The reality is probably something like a 80-year-old 20-rank Kilgen that would cost $100,000-plus to restore to playable condition and then it would still sound like a early 20th century 20-rank Kilgen. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing; but its loss would not be the same level of tagedy as a 20-year-old 50-rank American Classic design that was still in mint condition.




    My guess is that this church, beautiful as it is, has not been in an affluent neighborhood for many years and that the pipe organ has fallen into disrepair and disuse and is likely unplayable. If it is something worth saving, there is a pretty good chance that someone will come along and remove it at their own expense. If nothing else, the church can allow organ hobbyists to remove as much of the organ as they can just to save the reusable parts.




    You asked about time and money. Just as an example: We bought a 30-year-old 56-rank Schantz from a church that was moving. We paid only $75,000 for the organ. We transported it from Florida to California and had it refurbished, somewhat reconfigured, enlarged to 72-ranks with pipes from our previous organ, revoiced, and reinstalled. The work cost about $400,000, which was expertly done and a bargain at that price. The local Schantz representative was said to have remarked that they never could have done the job for only $400,000. But this gives you an idea of what it costs to move and restore a pipe organ. The organ has a current replacementcost of about $2 million.




    I hope that this helps shed some light on these sad events. But I am encouraged by the fact that so much of the church is indeed being saved.




    Take care, Jessica; and keep asking probing questions!




    [;)]

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    • #3
      Re: What will happen???

      Thank you for your kind reply, and for sheading some light on this issue. I'm a young newbie that is unfamiliar with a lot of the logistics involved in preserving these "kings of instruments". I do know this though. I decided a while ago that my favorite triumph of human civilization was the conception of the pipe organ.

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      • #4
        Re: What will happen???



        The pipe organ is indeed an immaculate contraption.




        [:$]

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        • #5
          Re: What will happen???



          That church is supposed to be made into condos? That reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the concert hall is converted into a prison! Such a shame.



          I agree completely with MenchenStimme. Chances are, the organ isn't as "massive" as the reporter says it is. Removing a stained glass window, although delicate, isn't nearly as expensive or as difficult as it is to remove a pipe organ - even a small one. On the contrary, I hate to ever hear about pipe organs being destroyed. Again, such a shame.

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          • #6
            Re: What will happen???

            Man, I wish these clergymen would think about what happens when they mess around. It's so sad and selfish!

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