Reiny Delzer Residence

Bismarck, ND

Builder: Rudolph Wurlitzer "Publix 1" style, Op. 1848, 1928.
Manuals: 4
Ranks: 20
Action: Electro-pneumatic

Notes: This Wurlitzer "Publix 1" organ was originally built for the Minnesota Theatre (36-40 9th St. & Hennepin Ave.) in downtown Minneapolis. This instrument was mismatched to the Minnesota Theatre: The auditorium seated a little over 4,000. At that size, the Publix #1 Model Wurlitzer was fairly lost in such a huge space once the seats were filled. However, it is apparent that the musical qualities of the Minnesota Wurlitzer were pretty good overall. There are at least three selections by famed Midwest organist Eddie Dunstedter that have survived. "If I Had You" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" being two of them. Even for 1928/'29 recordings, the cavernous acoustics of the Minnesota are in evidence. The console of the organ was mounted on a revolving lift located in the house-left end of the orchestra pit.

The Wurlitzer has fared much better after leaving its original home. The Minnesota (called the "Radio City" in the last years of its existence) was torn down in 1959. The Wurlitzer found its way into the hands of Reiny Delzer of Bismarck, North Dakota who installed it in his home. According to THEATRE ORGAN magazine, it was the focal point of the 1963 American Theatre Organ Enthusiasts convention. Dunstedter was at the bench again, much to his own delight and to all of those heard him play.

Later it went to a private installation in Middleton, Wisconsin (home of Bob Gilson) where it was installed and enlarged by David L. Junchen. Additional ranks at the Gilson studio included: English Horn, Horn Diapason, Salicional, Voix Celeste, Krumet, Spitzflute, Spitzflute Celeste and Trompette en Chamade. I believe the original Dulciana was not included. Gilson also had a set of 32' Diaphone beaters and built new resonators for the set. We received the most recent update for this note from Organ Historical Database Manager on November 17, 2019.