Plymouth Congregational Church, U.C.C.


Fort Wayne, IN

Click on any image for a larger picture.


Aeolian-Skinner - 1941

I served as Organist, then later, Director of Music/Organist from 1983 to 1999. I played many services and recitals on this instrument. The church had an afternoon recital series, which meant I usually played at least two 1/2 hour solo organ recitals a year. I also played "Dueling Organ Recital" with my friend and colleague Michael Hollman, who usually held forth at the balcony instrument, a 96-equivalent-rank Allen ADC 8000.
The Aeolian-Skinner was originally located in what is now Central Presbyterian Church, Park Ave., NY, NY. As best as I can tell, its life started out as a Hook & Hastings, c. 1902. The organ was then re-built by G. Donald Harrison and the firm of Aeolian-Skinner. It was fitted with this console, some Hook & Hastings ranks were retained, and a number of Aeolian-Skinner ranks were added, bringing the total to about 80 ranks. In 1948, Plymouth Congregational Church (Fort Wayne, IN) bought the instrument from Central Presbyterian Church and had it removed and reinstalled by Chester Raymond. It was maintained for many years by Harold Lucas of Auburn IN. Harold was an Aeolian-Skinner installer for the Chicago area before starting his own firm. He maintained the instrument until the mid-1990's, then retired to Canada. Before his retirement, he taught me many skills, including tuning and releathering. Most of the Solo division's stops were releathered by me after the failure of the original pouches made from Perflex. The instrument was 72 ranks and was located in the chancel area before its replacement by a 4-manual Allen Renaissance c. 2003. The Allen 8000 ADC was purchased in 1985 and installed in the balcony. It too was removed around the 2003 renovation of the sanctuary.
Additional pipework by A.R. Shopp, Trivo Co., and Laukauff was added to the pipe organ throughout its life. Most of the installation of additional/replacement ranks was done by Harold Lucas. The Great Principal Chorus was original G. Donald Harrison pipework. The 16' Ophecliede used 16' wood resonators. The 16' Violone stop was wood, full length, and because of its smaller scale, was actually closer to 20' in length. The Open Diapason 16' in the pedal had a lower 32' extension, which because of expense, was left in New York. The specification below was the instrument's final reincarnation, as of 1999.

From 1983 to 1999, several changes to the specification took place.
An 8' Stopped Diapason (Odel) replaced the Erzahler in the Gt.
Through switching, the 16' Open Diapason and 16' Soubass were added to the pedal specification at 10 2/3' pitches.
For want of a feed wire, the 16-8-4' pedal Soubasse were played for the first time since 1948.
One of the Swell strings (there were 4 ranks, very similar in volume and timbre) was replaced by an 8' Cor Anglais - new pipework by Trivo Co.
A 32' reed by Laukauff replaced an old Double Trumpet 16' in the pedal division. An extension was added by A.R. Shopp's so it could be played at 32' and 16' pitches.
The 8' Diapason in the Solo was replaced by an 8' Doppel Flute.
An 8-level S.S.L. Combination Action was installed. The pistons under the Choir manual which duplicated the pedal toe-studs were re-configured as Generals, which brought the total number of General pistons to 21; 8 of those were duplicated by toe studs. There were four user-definable Creschendo pedal settings, and a set-able Sfz. for each level of memory

Note: All of the photos on this page were captured between 1983 and 1999. Many changes have taken place since some of this pictures were taken - to the exterior of the building, the sanctuary and the organ console as well. One should not assume that the pictures of a given object were neccessarily photographed within the same time period. One final note: the final photo on this page was taken at night from the parking lot across the street . The lighting/color of the photograph was not enhanced in Photoshop - the unique and striking colors are from the difference between the color spectrums of the church and street lighting fixtures.

72 ranks
4 manual drawknob console

Great (Manual II) - 61 notes

Quintation 16’
Principal 8’
Stopped Diapason 8’
Principal 4’
Hohl Flute 4’
Quint 2 2/3’

Super Octave 2’
Flautina 2’
Fourniture IV-V
Cymbale III
Trumpet 8’
Swell (Manual III) - 61 notes

Gamba 8’       
Gamba Celeste 8’
Octave 4’
Wald Flute 4’
Fifteenth 2’

Nineteenth 1 1/3’
Mixture IV
Dulzian 16’
Trompette 8’
Cor Anglais 8’
Schalmei 4’
Choir (Manual I) - 61 notes  

Super Octave 2’
Flautina 2’
Fourniture IV-V
Cymbale III
Trumpet 8’

Tierce 1 3/5’
Sifflote 1’
Mixture III
Bass Clarinet 16’
Oboe 8’
Fagotto 4’
Pedal - 32 notes

Diapason 16’
Gambe 16’
Violone 16’
Bourdon 16’
Quintation 16’ (Gt.)
Lieblich Gedeckt 16’ (Sw.)
Sub Bass 16’
Diapason 10 2/3’
Sub Bass 10 2/3’
Sub Bass  8’

Gedeckt 8’
Principal 8’
Choral Bass 4’
Stopped Flute 4’
Spitzflöte 4’
Blockflöte 2’
Sifflöte 1’
Mixture III
Contra Fagotto 32’
Fagotto 16’
Ophicleide 16’
Echo - (played on Manual I)  

Viole 8’
Viole Celeste 8’

Fern Flute 8’
Vox Humana 8’
Solo - Manual IV  

Gamba 8’       
Gamba Celeste 8’
Doppel Flute 8’

Trompette 8’
Clarinet 8’
French Horn 8’