Pipe Organ Restoration Considerations

    There are many things to think about when considering restoration of a pipe organ; here are some of them:

    1. Know the builder, age, size, and as much of the history of the instrument as possible.
    2. Assemble an organ archive containing contracts, correspondence, drawings, and service records. Keep these materials in a safe place.
    3. Keep a permanent and complete log of malfunctions and tuning issues. This information is valuable to both service technicians and restorers. It’s also the primary evidence needed to “sell” a restoration.
    4. Know the serial number of the blower and blower motor. Keep lubrication records, and maintain a clean, tidy blower room.
    5. Does the instrument bear an Organ Historical Society (OHS) citation? Should it?
    6. Has the instrument been modified or altered in any way? Research when and why any changes occurred. Document the provenance of all added mechanisms or pipework. Are the console and switching systems original?
    7. Has the instrument been damaged in any way through inattention, neglect, or carelessness, or as a result of the environment?
    8. Carefully research the credentials, philosophy, and past work of anyone who purports to be an organ restorer.
    9. Consider various funding options available for restoration projects that are not necessarily available for new pipe organs.


    Jeff Weiler  © 2009, 2016