Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Unknown Builder (1980's)


St. Peter Lutheran Church
418 Sumner Street East
Northfield, MN 55057 US
Sanctuary; rear gallery
Organ ID: 67871

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Lutheran Churches
  • The organ has an unknown or unreported status.
  • The organ's condition is not playable.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Jim Stettner on March 23, 2021.
Jim Stettner on March 23, 2021:

Identified from the Twin Cities AGO Organ List. -- This organ has a sad history. In a 2020 note on the Twin Cities AGO Organ List website, organ builder David Engen writes, "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."

We received the most recent update for this note from Jim Stettner on March 23, 2021.

Instrument Images:

Church exterior: Photograph from an archival source: Church Facebook page, submitted by Jim Stettner. Taken on 2013-03-06

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