Private Residence – Mount Arlington, NJ
The 2/7 Robert Morton Theatre Pipe Organ shown here is installed in a Mt. Arlington, N.J. home on beautiful Lake Hopatcong. The organ’s first installation in 1923 was at the Haverhill Mass. Palace Theatre. Around 1927 the theatre’s name was changed to the Paramount Theatre. Many years later the instrument was removed, just before the building was demolished.
The Morton was then acquired by the present owners, and has been playing at Mt. Arlington since 1980. The home installation crew was led by GSTOS founder Walter Froehlich, and included the new owners. GSTOS member Noel Mackisoc, who ran an electronics design business, designed and built a new multiplex relay for the organ’s installation in its new home. (The console is so huge because it originally contained the 1923 Morton electro-pneumatic relay and combination action.) By today’s standards the organ’s electronic relay is very slow and primitive, but at the time it was built it was quite state of the art, using CMOS micro-processing chips. Significantly, it is still working as designed almost 35 years later!
The home installation is fairly unusual. Some large pipes are positioned horizontally in the attic and heard through the ceiling. Traps, percussions and pipe ranks are heard up the stairwell from the basement where some items are enclosed in a single chamber, and others not. Microphones have been placed in the basement to amplify the sound for the players and listeners in the living room. In addition, the roll player mechanism of the player piano across from the console in the living room is set up to play the organ.