From Paramount Theatre,
Instrument Under Restoration by GSTOS. Negotiations continue concerning a future venue.
Our 20-Rank Wurlitzer Balaban Style Theatre Pipe Organ was purchased by GSTOS in June 2012 from Ted Wood in Salem, New York. The organ was previously installed in the Paramount Theatre, Peekskill, New York.
The organ was dismantled packed and moved to NJ in June 2012, with the help of members of GSTOS, Frank Hackert and members of the Hudson Mohawk Organ Society, and Applegate Movers. Removing the organ from a 4’ pit in the basement of the Wood home was a logistic challenge.
The storage area donated by GSTOS member Cathy Oliver in Neptune, NJ was prepared with large wood racks to hold pipe trays organ chests and parts. The console and blower were too large and heavy to move into the Neptune storage area so they are stored in the Brook Performing Arts Center Warehouse.
This organ has a beautiful French style 3-manual console and 20 ranks of pipes, which include:
- Brass Saxophone
- Brass Trumpet
- Vox Humana III
- Vox Celeste
- Bourdon-Concert Flute
- Tibia Clausa-Piccolo II
- Violin Celeste
- Tuba Horn
- Vox Humana II
- Solo Vox Humana I
- Solo Tibia Clausa
- Solo String
- Orchestral Oboe
- Post Horn
The organ components are being rebuilt at the Rahway Senior Center in Rahway, NJ by some of the Rahway crew. In preparation for the rebuilding, storage space was assigned by the Rahway Senior Center. The walls, ceiling, and floors were painted by the Rahway Crew to provide clean storage. Metal shelving (donated by IN/US Systems Inc. when the company relocated to Tampa) was moved from the Brook Theatre warehouse to store parts being rebuilt.
Since some members of the Rahway organ crew were available to start rebuilding Wurlitzer Opus 2115 on October 18, 2012, six-bottom boards from the main 6-rank chest were moved from Neptune to Rahway. Each bottom board is dismantled and parts are identified. Wood components are unscrewed and cotton covered wire is removed. Old gaskets are removed and their location marked. Old valve stems are removed and the placement of each pneumatic is marked and then the pneumatic removed. Magnets are tested and replaced if defective. Pneumatic holes are blown out and the wood cleaned. Each bottom board rebuilding consists of rewiring the board, cutting leather for gaskets, and punching holes and gluing new gaskets in place. Thin pneumatic leather is cut and glued onto primary pneumatics. The pneumatics are then glued onto the boards using the old markings as guides. New valves are built and installed. The armatures are also cleaned and the magnets tested.
A check-list system is being used so that multiple boards can be worked on. At any given time we will know the stage of each board. Eight additional bottom boards have since been moved to Rahway for rebuilding. There are a total of 40 bottom boards to be rebuilt.
Barbara Bacon and Carole Rustako Crew Chiefs – June 2013