Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Austin Organ Co. (Opus 43, 1901)

Location:

First Unitarian Church of Detroit
2870 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI US
Sanctuary
Organ ID: 2614

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Unitarian, Universalist, Unitarian-Universalist
  • The organ is no longer extant; destroyed.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Jim Stettner on October 22, 2020.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Information unknown or not applicable
  • 3 manuals. 43 stops.
All:
  • Position: In side chambers at the front of the room. Facade pipes or case front visible.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Main:
  • Manuals: 3
  • Stops: 43
  • Key Action: Tubular-pneumatic connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Tubular-pneumatic connection between stop control and chest.
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Database Manager on May 03, 2017:

Updated by James R. Stettner, listing conversations with this person as the source of the information: Wayne Warren.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, March 18, 2017 - Wayne Warren posted on Facebook Organists Association, "First Unitarian Church in Detroit. Built between 1889 and 1890, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It was destroyed by fire on May 10, 2014. The church housed Austin Opus 42, I believe. (the date 1901 was found on the center facade pipe). We saved all the interior pipes about 25 years or so ago. Organ was Tubular-pneumatic. 3 manual with a drawknob console. The pipework was dispersed and utilized in many instruments throughout the US and Canada."

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on May 22, 2014:

Updated through online information from William M. Worden. -- The First Unitarian Church was not formerly the Church of Our Father Universalist, which was a different congregation and a different building. Eventually, in the 1930s, the two did merge as the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit at 4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, which contains a large Skinner. Johnson opus 556 is, therefore, not connected to this building on Woodward Avenue; it was in the Church of Our Father Universalist on Grand Circus Park, about a half mile away. The former First Unitarian Church on Woodward in Detroit burned to a shell on May 10, 2014, but photos of the interior before the fire show the facade pipes gone and nothing behind them. There could have been chests or other remains, but likely the pipes had been scavenged by metal thieves.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on June 02, 2008:

Updated through online information from Ray Ahrens. -- Building abandoned and dilapidated.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Database Manager on October 30, 2004:

"Church was originally Church of Our Father, Universalist. Later First Unitarian-Universalist. May have been a rebuild of the earlier 3m. Johnson, Op. 556 of 1881 for this church."

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

Instrument Images:

Facades and Console: Detroit Free Press, March 10, 1901, courtesy of William M. Worden (1901).

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