First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church in St. Paul, very close to the I-94/I-35E intersection ("Spaghetti Junction") is a very old and historic church with a Steere and Turner organ from the late 19th Century. Over its lifetime, this organ has been revised multiple times, and each time it got smaller! First the original tracker action was electrified and it got a new electric console. Then in the 1950's the whole original mechanism was discarded and pitman windchests were installed in newly-built chambers. A big pneumatic Moller console replaced the first electric console. Finally, many ranks were moved around within the organ, some harmonic pipes were cut off, the 16' Open Wood was disconnected and its treble pipes removed, and finally the Swell mixture was moved to the Great, with the Great mixture winding up in a box in the basement. Our task was to restore as much of the original tonal design as we could within the confines of the electric pitman windchests. We also removed the pneumatic console components and replaced the relay system with one that is much more reliable. Finally, we removed the shutters from the Great division and replaced the swell motors on the Choir and Swell, allowing the shutters to open a full 90 degrees. The resulting organ is something of a tonal revelation, with pipes restored to original locations, the Great mixture restored, and the full resources of the Swell restored. The original tonal design was far superior to what the organ had become over 100+ years of changing tastes.