Updated through online information from Robert Scarborough. -- This A-S I know fairly well, as I played it for a couple of years, and this was one of the last of the A-S line in which G. Donald Harrison was involved before his passing in 1956. The build date on the plate is 1957. From the church's dedication in Summer, '55 until completion of the first 20 ranks, they had an electronic.
The 1966 "rebuild" wasn't a rebuild per se; rather it was the addition of a small antiphonal division above the rose window in the back, along with some leather and other maintenance items up front, bringing the roster up to a 3/46, all told circa 1969. Also, I seem to recall the 8' Gambe on the choir was replaced by Abbot and Seiker with some chiffy thing in keeping with "anti-orchestral" movement of that era, the name of the new stop I cannot recall.
This organ suffers from being crammed into a single chamber on the left side up front, further hidden acoustically by a proscenium arch of reinforced concrete. Also, in keeping with Methodist tradition, the sanctuary was plush with thickly padded carpeting and pew cushions in addition to cork ceiling tiles, making the space rather dead. However, the sound for the organist is quite "in your face." The added antiphonal (1966, Opus 13) was anemic at best, although the overdone "chiff" of the flues made it sound more like a toy counter. The fine A-S console was located in a pit at the back of the choir stalls.
Anecdote: Being the ever-useful student, I had spent an afternoon meticulously cleaning and polishing the console, much to Dorothy Hester's chagrin that Sunday. Evidently, she had a habit, when it was "showtime," to navigate the steep steps into the "pit" and then hop onto the bench from the last step. With all the crud removed and a nice, polished finish thereupon, momentum carried her across the bench and into her music stacks on the other side, causing quite a stir amongst the choir. The console sure looked great, though, although no one but the choir could see it. Mrs. Hester was a student of the esteemed Clarence Mader.
Identified 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:
Rebuilt in 1966 by Abbott & Sieker, #13.
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