WORLD'S LARGEST PIPE ORGAN

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This organ started at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the largest operational[1] pipe organ in the world, located within a spacious 7-story court at Macys Center City (formerly Wanamaker's department store). The Wanamaker organ is played twice a day, Monday through Saturday, and more frequently during the Christmas season. The organ is also featured at several special concerts held throughout the year, including events featuring the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ festival chorus and brass.

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Posted · Report post

Just beautiful and I'm sure the sound is too.

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Just beautiful and I'm sure the sound is too.

Yes the sound is beautiful. I live in Philly and often when shopping dowtown stop in

for the afternoon concerts.

BTW the pipes in the picture are just a facade. The actual pipes are located behind the facade and

are not visable to the public.

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That is very impressive!

How nice to see that it looks to be taken care of.

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It's a small world - this afternoon I attended an organ concert at Holy Cross Lutheran church in Green Oaks/Libertyville IL. The artist was Nathan Laube

http://www.nathanlaube.com/

at 20 years old a virtuoso and self-styled organ nut, who has played the Wanamaker on frequent occasions, often playing his own transcriptions of orchestral works.

edit:

The program included pieces by Widor, Franck, Messiaen, Bach, and Lube's transcription of the overture to "Die Fledermaus." Aa he explained, organs like the Wanamaker, with their huge range of voices and effects, are especially conducive to these orchestral transcriptions. The organ at Holy Cross was bought from the original venue, which had something like 80 ranks of pipes (!), which were reduced to 24 for the church; but the pipes are supplemented by electonic sampled sounds from organs all over the world.

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Beyond the Festival Hall Organ that was built for the 1915 Pan Pacific Expo in San Francisco (then later moved to S.F. Civic Auditorium where it sustained serious damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and was put into storage)...

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And the beautiful Spreckels Organ which was built for the 1915 San Diego Expo and is still put to beautifully good use today...

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I wonder how many other of these old World's Fair beauties are still around?

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Is it bigger than the one at West Point?

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Is it bigger than the one at West Point?

WEST POINT CHAPEL, WEST POINT, NY .....213 RANKS, 14,195 PIPES

WANAMAKER ORGAN, PHILADELPHIA, PA.....457 RANKS, OVER 28,000 PIPES

RAY

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I believe West Point is the second- or third-largest church organ in the world. The Wanamaker Organ and the Atlantic City Convention Hall organ vie for the title of largest.

Wanamaker is the largest fully-functional organ. It has a sex-manual console. Atlantic City, which is being restored and which has a seven-manual console, has more pipes, but less ranks (sets), because some of its ranks are extended past the normal 61 pipes, either so octave couplers will work at the high or low ends (especially on its extended manuals - from top to bottom, they go 5-5-5-5-6-7-7 octaves wide) or in the case of unifoed ranks, in which stops of multiple pitches but of the same type are derived from a single, extended rank.

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Here is the Wanamaker Organ at its original home at the St. Louis World's Fair.

723px-Wanamaker_Organ_1904.jpg

So, if this topic has become 'surviving World's Fair pipe organs', we've got the start of a list

Wanamaker Organ (St. Louis to Philadelphia)

Spreckles Organ (1915 San Diego, still there)

Panama Pacific Organ (1915 San Francisco, in storage in S.F.)

Curtis Organ (1926 Philadelphia, now at Univ. of Penn)

Netherlands Organ (1939-40 NYWF Netherlands Pavilion to Kiefhoekskerk, Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Sun Valley Organ (1939-40 NYWF Sun Valley exhibit to Long Beach, CA Municipal Auditorium- building demolished in 1975- organ location unknown)

Hausserman Organ (1939-40 NYWF Temple of Religion, to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Louisville, KY)

a huge Marenghi Organ (1905 Liege, then moved to 1910 Brussels, rumored to be somewhere in the United Kingdom)

Skinner Organ (1933 Chicago, to Avondale United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama)

Other info- Austin Organs undertook a post-earthquake repair of the Panama Pacific organ and returned it to San Francisco in installable condition in 1991, but it remains in storage. There have been many false starts with proposals for it. A 2004 voter referundum to fund a Music Concourse in the Embarcadero area, with the organ as the centerpiece, was voted down. The latest is a plan to make the instrument part of the proposed Panama-Pacific International Museum located in the Gallery Building at The Palace of Fine Arts. The museum would occupy the space formerly hosting the Exploratorium

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It has a sex-manual console.

That must be one interesting console... :)

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The latest is a plan to make the instrument part of the proposed Panama-Pacific International Museum located in the Gallery Building at The Palace of Fine Arts. The museum would occupy the space formally hosting the Exploratorium

Haven't heard anything about this plan, Randy. Is the Exploratorium moving out?

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Thanks for sharing the link, Randy. That Gallery space at the P.O.F.A. is awfully big. As much as I'd love it-- it's hard to believe the whole thing would/could be devoted to being a PPIE Museum. Sure would make a great space for an International World's Fair & Expo Museum, though!

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