St. Ignatius
Kilgen Organ Op. 3319 Restoration

The pipe organ at St. Ignatius Church was built by the Kilgen Organ Company in 1925 as its Op. 3319. Designed by organist Stephen Erst in consultation with the Kilgen Company, the instrument was a typical example of 1920's orchestral style organ building. The instrument has four manuals and 34 ranks of pipes. The entire instrument is enclosed in three swell chambers (left to right looking at the facade: Solo, Great/Choir/Pedal, and Swell). A Kilgen instrument of better quality, it features several beautiful string ranks and smooth but powerful reeds.

The organ remained intact as it had been originally installed until 1977 when amateur organ builders drastically changed and ruined ten sets of pipes. This attempt to modernize the instrument completely failed. By the mid 1980's, the remainder of the instrument also became unplayable due to failing pouch leather. Restoration efforts have been ongoing since 1993. Ninety five percent of the instrument is now releathered and all of the instrument is playable. Much of the damage done in 1977 has also been reversed.

Donations are always welcome towards the St. Ignatius pipe organ restoration project. To replace the each missing set of pipes would cost approximately $6,000.00. Currently, the St. Ignatius pipe organ has three missing sets of pipes and another six sets in need of restoration and cleaning. While the organ is entirely playable, major restoration work still needs to be completed. In addition to the aforementioned replacement and restoration of the pipework, the organ also needs the a complete overhaul of the console. The renovation of the console, the re-wiring of the organ, and the installation of modern solid state switching technology are all major projects which need to be undertaken in the near future. The organ's harp and chimes are also in need of a complete restoration. To complete all of this work would cost approximately $150,000.00.

Photographs of the Kilgen Pipe Organ

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