St Peter Lutheran Church

418 Sumner Street East
Northfield, MN 55057

Builder: Allen Organ Co
Manuals: 3
Stops: 58
Action: Renaissance/Quantum Heritage

Notes: Robert Kendall was organist here at one point (teacher at St. Olaf) and invited me to take a look at the recently rebuilt organ, sometime in the 1980's. The main memory of this visit is that the blower (located in a neighboring classroom) produced so much turbulence noise throughout the wind system that it had to be turned off during the sermon. Several years later, he asked me to again look at the organ, which had recently been rebuilt yet again by a local builder. He felt "something was wrong". We discovered that the Great windchest above the Swell had pipes BUT NO VALVES IN THE CHEST! The chest holes were covered with blue tape from the inside. Great stops had been wired to play pipes located in the Swell. It would have taken a considerable effort -- and expense -- at that point to disassemble the organ to remove and wire the Great so it would actually play. Some sort of fraud was involved since the congregation did not get what they'd paid for. Evidently the congregation, having endured one rebuild after another by local builders, gave up on the organ (pictured here) and purchased the Allen. Since the organ is still in the balcony, it could still be completed.
-- David Engen, 2020