Excerpt from the April 2002 edition of The Diapason:
Wicks Opus 1228 was built in 1934 in the Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori, “The Rock Church”, of St. Louis, Missouri under the direction of John Henry Wick, son of company founder John Wick. This grand instrument served as the genesis for this project. This instrument contains some of the first work done by Henry Vincent Willis for the Wicks firm. Voicing untouched, this instrument has remained “as installed” with the exception of an updated relay in the 1980’s. It was not our intention to use leathered upper lips or strings the size of soda straws, but the over all sound, that grand and glorious sound, was a shoe-in once the music ministry of Christ Church heard it. St. Alphonsus was also used for the concept of the modern façade. Our intention was not to turn back the clock but rather to find the best possible place to stop its pendulum. This concept is long overdue: the return to instruments that inspire players to play them, and inspire the listener to something larger than mere sound or force. The intention was to build an instrument that wanted to be played by a musician as well as a technician, one that promoted improvisation as well as recitation.
Updated through online information from Scott Crowell. -- The church caught fire due to a lightning strike in 2007. The organ suffered some smoke and water damage but the horseshoe-style console and much of the casework was able to be salvaged. The organ was restored and refurbished by Wicks in 2008. Also at this time the organ was updated with solid-state equipment, but no tonal changes were made.
Status Note: There 1997
Tonal design under Henry Vincent Willis. May be a reference in American Organist 4/1935.
Organ Case: Photograph by Wicks Organ Co., via Facebook, submitted by Jeff Scofield. Taken on 2012-10-30
Church interior to rear and organ case: Photograph from an archival source: Church Facebook, submitted by Jeff Scofield. Taken on 2017-12-31
Ceiling, stained glass windows, church interior to front: Photograph from an archival source: Church Facebook, submitted by Jeff Scofield. Taken on 2017-11-07