Since the pipe chamber is located in the basement with the listening area upstairs, we needed to find a grill to install in the floor that would allow the sound to get up into the room. After over a year of searching antique shops and architectural reclaiming companies, our friend Gib Petzke offered us his grills that were used when he had a pipe organ installed in his last two homes. These base brass grills weigh somewhere around 400 pounds and were originally radiator covers in a Chicago shopping center. They certainly have put on a lot of miles and do the job quite nicely!
In February of 2017, a player piano became available for the right price (transportation). It was in good condition with a mandolin attachment and fairly new felts and hammers. The lesson learned here is that player pianos are heavy and should be moved by more than two people. Especially when steps are involved. The stack has since been removed and a new one with electric coils will be added so that the Uniflex organ relay can control it. This piano is currently sitting in the basement within the tone chute. A pneumatic is being fabricated to turn the mandolin attachment on and off.
In September of 2016, Gary Kleckowitz put me in touch with Dave Williams, son of the late Dale Williams who had recently passed. Dale had a 2/11 Wurlitzer installed in his home in Whitewater, Wisconsin.
Dale was born in Fort Madison, Iowa on August 12, 1925. He graduated from Austin High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1943. On September 7, 1947, Dale married Lois M. Weintz in Chicago, Illinois. In 1973, the family moved to the Whitewater area. Dale and his business partner began the Verlo Mattress Company in 1967 in Chicago, IL, which was named in honor of their wives and was the combination of the partner's wives names Verna and Lois. Dale built and flew airplanes and loved carpentry including crafting violins and furniture making. He put together and played a pipe organ as a hobby.
On September 6th, 2016, Zach Frame and I took a trip to the estate to view the instrument. After a tour and playing, an offer to purchase was made and accepted. On October 28th, Zach and I constructed 14 pipe crates and on October 31st and November 1st, Zach & Neill Frame, Steve Southworth, Gary Kleckowitz along with Dave Williams assisted me in removal of the instrument from Whitewater to temporary storage in East Troy, Wisconsin.
I'd like to thank Zach & Emily Frame, Lindsay Jonas, Steve Southworth and Ed Stayanovich for their assistance in removing this instrument! Opus 1872 was originally installed in the Capitol Theatre located in Racine Wisconsin. Originally a 2/5, 150 Special shipped from the Wurlitzer factory on April 24th, 1928. In 1981, the organ was removed from the theatre, installed at the Theatre Guild and dedicated on February 21, 1982. This move was made possible by donations from Mr. and Mrs. Lowell McNeill and the Dairyland Theatre Organ Society who contracted with Frederick Johnson Organ Builders to reinstall it complete with a modern solid-state Z-Tronics Relay. On June 17th and 18th, 2013, the instrument was removed from the Racine Theatre Guild to temporary storage in Greenfield, Wisconsin.
In early November of 2011, I purchased my first theatre organ component - a master scale Wurlitzer xylophone. After finding it on eBay out of New York, I had it crated and shipped to Wisconsin. Although I used polyurethane versus shellac and various other things I have since learned to do correctly, it was the piece that started it all.
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