Pipe Reorgan Project
The pipe organ at Asbury was built in 1938 by Aeolian Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The Aeolian Skinner Organ Company was one of the finest pipe organ building companies in the world, and many of the organs built by them are still in existence today. The organ at Asbury was the 975th organ built by the firm. The organ was donated by Mr. William Baker.
The pipe organ is a 3-manual and pedal instrument consisting of 32 ranks, 2045 pipes, chimes and a harp. The action is electro pneumatic and has been unaltered from its original 1938 state with the exception of the replacement of the console's internal mechanisms in the 1990's and again in 2015. The original ivory keyboards were retained and polished. The unusual craftsman-style console shell was cleaned but original wear marks can still be seen.
The console has also been raised from its original position in a pit near the choir loft and can now be moved to the front of the platform for recital purposes if desired. Over the years failed electro magnets in the organ were replaced with non-matching magnets. In 2015, original Aeolian Skinner magnets were found and were re-installed. Tonally, the pipe organ retains all of its original pipes and the organ undoubtably sounds very similar, if not identical to the way it was personally finished by Aeolian Skinner president and pipe organ building legend, G. Donald Harrison. The restoration in 2015 was completed by S.D.G. Pipe Organs of Millersville, PA.
For reasons unknown, however, the organ was never completed according to factory specifications which still exist. Three divisions of the instrument, Choir, Swell and Pedal were designed to have specific additional pipework and room was allocated in the chambers for these additions. And, while no specific pipework was listed in the original factory specifications, they hinted at the addition of an Echo organ to be placed in a small room located adjacent to the balcony.
Working with noted Boston-based Aeolian Skinner historian, Jonathan Ambrosino, S.D.G. Pipe Organs has created a written plan to complete the front organ and the balcony organ.
For pictures of the project please see below.
The old organ pit with unsafe wiring.
Original ivory keyboard
The new up to code wiring
The console in its new home.