Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co. (Opus 1324, 1955)

Location:

Ford Auditorium
80 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226 US
Auditorium
Organ ID: 27238

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Auditoriums and Concert Halls
  • The organ has been relocated.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Roman Lizak on May 10, 2022.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Electro-pneumatic (EP)
  • 69 ranks. 4,100 pipes. 7 divisions. 3 manuals. 51 stops. 74 registers.
All:
  • Chest Type(s): Electro-pneumatic (EP) chests
  • Position: In a case at the front of the room.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Main:
  • Manuals: 3
  • Divisions: 7
  • Stops: 51
  • Registers: 74
  • Position: Movable console.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with roll top.
  • Stop Controls: Drawknobs in vertical rows on angled jambs.
  • Combination Action: Remote pneumatic/mechanical capture system.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, AGO standard placement.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Tutti Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Tutti Reversible Toe Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Toe Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Toe Pistons
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Database Manager on October 02, 2013:

Hauptwerk and Positiv have 56 notes

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on July 02, 2011:

According to an article by the Associated Press (7-2-11), the main organ is currently being removed from the building by volunteers with a deadline to have it completely out of the building by July 5. The plan is to have it be restored by Helderop and then installed at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Detroit. The Portative organ was already removed from the building, but it will not be part of the St. Aloysius project.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on March 04, 2011:

Updated through online information from Brian Ventura. -- The organ will be removed in the spring of 2011 by Helderop Pipe Organs. It will be stored for a future installation. Ford Auditorium will be demolished later in 2011. Main organ and portable are in good condition. The console has water damage but will be restored.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on July 05, 2009:

Updated through online information from Richard Ditewig. -- The building has not been razed; it still stands.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on June 28, 2008:

Updated through information adapted from E. M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List, by Sand Lawn and Allen Kinzey (Organ Historical Society, 1997), and included here through the kind permission of Sand Lawn:
Inaugurated by Marcel Dupré in the fall of 1957; four taxi horns added in 1958, #A-447; extant; Hauptwerk and Positiv on movable platforms; building has been razed.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on February 11, 2019.

Database Manager on December 10, 2007:

Updated through online information from Mark Funk. -- 2006--Sad situation. The auditorium was closed with the opening of the renovated Orchestra Hall. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra moved to the renovated Orchestra Hall. Former technician told me that if the organ were to be removed it changes the status of the building. Until then, the Detroit City Government can sit and do nothing with the building. Some officials won't even discuss the building (secondhand). The building was closed in 1998. The organ has not been played since then. This organ had been played by Virgil Fox. A true example of an organ being held hostage by politics. An underground newspaper stated about a year ago that the Detroit Theater Organ Society was debating removing the former Fisher Theater organ from their venue to the Ford Auditorium. However I have heard of no further action. The organ seems reasonably doomed.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on July 26, 2007:

Identified through online information from Douglas W. Craw. -- The organ was designed by Joseph S. Whiteford and dedicated in a recital by Marcel Dupré. It is in 2 parts: The main organ (4 Divisions/49 Ranks) is installed in chambers above the stage. There is also a Portative Organ (3 Divisons/23 Ranks) that is movable. Ford Auditorium has been closed for many years (since the early 90s I believe) but as of a couple of years ago the building was still standing and the organ was still inside.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on February 11, 2019.
Source not recorded: Open In New Tab Aeolian-Skinner Archives via Allen Kinzey
We received the most recent update for this stoplist from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.
Original Contract: Open In New Tab Original Contract with scaling and other notes courtesy of the OHS Archive
Document created on 1955-11-01
We received the most recent update for this document from Roman Lizak on May 10, 2022.

Instrument Images:

Console: Photograph by Jim Lews, courtesy of Samuel Metzger. Taken on 1957-10-12

Console image from CD liner of Saint-Saens Detroit Symphony with Dupré: Photograph by Neal Campbell, courtesy of Samuel Metzger (1956).

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