DIYAPASON-L Digest #109 - Tuesday, June 13, 2000
 
Organ removal from Vassar college
  by "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@vassar.edu>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Organ removal from Vassar college
  by "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@home.com>
 

(back) Subject: Organ removal from Vassar college From: "John Vanderlee" <jovanderlee@vassar.edu> Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 11:30:03 -0500   Dear List,   Well, it shows how much I am in touch here! I work at Vassar College and heard the rumors about the Gress-Miles/Kimball leaving our recital hall to be replaced by a baroque style tracker. Beyond that, it was very hard to dig up info. I think some one said Fisk?   Anyhow, as posted earlier, I am curious how this is going to work architecturally, but no one here has shared that info with me.   While browsing the "Diapason", lo and behold the "old" organ is for sale! In whole or in parts for $50K or best offer.   I am curious if Vassar is on track(no pun intended) with their price here.   I'll repeat portions ofthe ad:   "1931 Kimball/Gress Miles Organ - Three manuals, 64 ranks, 69 stops, 3,548 pipes, including 32' sub-bass, 32' Contre Basson, and a rich variety of reed, string, and flute stops. Presently located in Recital Hall, Vassar College. Spec. available upon request. Pipe and chests in fine condition, combination action needs work, $50K or best offer, will consider selling induvidual ranks. Must be removed by Jan. 15, 2001...."   What is your feeling on them getting their price? and/or selling it all?   Thanks   John V      
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Organ removal from Vassar college From: "F. Richard Burt" <effarbee@home.com> Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 11:44:14 -0500   John Vanderlee wrote: > > * * * > I'll repeat portions of the ad: > > "1931 Kimball/Gress Miles Organ - Three manuals, 64 ranks, 69 stops, = 3,548 > pipes, including 32' sub-bass, 32' Contre Basson, and a rich variety of > reed, string, and flute stops. Presently located in Recital Hall, Vassar > College. Spec. available upon request. Pipe and chests in fine = condition, > combination action needs work, $50K or best offer, will consider selling > induvidual ranks. Must be removed by Jan. 15, 2001...." > > What is your feeling on them getting their price? and/or selling it all? That is a substantial pipe organ. The tonal style is not stated. Is this an organ of the first half of the 20th Century or is is better presented, because of the work by Gress Miles, as part of the organ revival in the last half of the 20th Century? I assume that you have heard it many times. How would you describe it? The going offer for pipes is about $100 per rank/stop. Even with inflation, if you get twice that price ($200 per rank/stop), that is 69 x 200 =3D $13,800. Unless the console is in pristine condition, even though it needs a new combination action, the shell, keyboards, and pedalboard should bring about $2,000 to $5,000. The age of the organ suggests that accumulated deterioration of the leathers in the windchests will require complete rebuild to be considered in top condition. The variance is about $20,000 to $30,000 from what they are asking for it. The next consideration is that the school may have a private donation that you can't see yet. If that is so, then it's a good probability that this is a done deal and they are only waiting to see just how much they can get for the old organ while the new organ is being designed and built. Politics can be a big factor in things like this, ripping all reasonableness out of the hands of those responsible for operating the school. If I were you, I'd inquire for the stuff they offered to send. That's my opinion. Appreciably, F. Richard Burt effarbee@home.com