Friday, June 10, 2005

Wanamaker Organ

(This is a photo set from my Philadelphia trip from What's Happening)

Listen to this organ:

  • From Carlo Curly's website: "" "Private Recordings" "April 24th, 2004, 2:30PM" "John stanley: Introduction and Trumpet Tune in D (Arr.: George Thalben-Ball)"
  • "April 24th, 2004, 5PM" "Georg Friedrich Handel: Aria in F (from “XII Concerto Grosso”, Arr.: Alexandre Guilmant)"

  • This is the largest working pipe organ in the world. Its in the Lord & Taylor store on 13th and Market, in the building formerly known as the Wanamaker Store. The organ is still refered to as the Wanamaker Organ. The pipe facade on the 2nd floor is only the beginning. The grillwork above that on the 3rd floor is more of it, and the brown wood fronts on the 4th floor are 3 more divisions of pipes. Those are wooden expression shades in front of the pipes to control volume. At the very top of the picture, on the 7th floor, is the Ethereal division of pipes, with chimes hanging in the arches on either side, and behind the camera on the 7th floor is the Echo division of pipes. Somewhere around 30,000 pipes in all, one of which was once photoed with a Shetland Pony inside as a publicity stunt (or so legend would have it... I have yet to see this photo). There are 12 45-minute recitals every week (2 per day, excluding Sunday) played by the full-time store organist and guests. How's that for a cool job? Sorry fuzzy, had to leave the shutter open for a bit because of the dark, and didn't have a tripod.

    Here's the console. 6 manual keyboards, over 700 stop tabs, and do I count 11 expression shoes? Not sure how one keeps track of those by feel. I won't try counting the number of preset buttons. The scary thing is that this organ was played for decades with no presets at all! That's a lot of stops to set by hand. The console has walk-in mainentance access.

    Taken from the 2nd floor, across the Grand Court. Didn't realize how badly I needed a tripod for dark shots.

    Taken from the 1st floor, near the Eagle statue. Shaky again. Oh well.


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