The Aeolian Organ

The Ringling Organ was commissioned by John and Mable in 1924 for installation at Ca d' Zan during the construction of the winter residence. It is one of ten such commissions of Aeolian Organ Company (which company is no longer inbusiness.)

The Ringling Aeolian organ has 2, 280 pipes, the diameter of which range from 12" to the diameter of a lead pencil. The organ pipes are housed in the building structure from the basement to the balcony level on the south wall of the Court room and the entire space of the court, 50'by65' is a sounding chambre for this musical instrument. During the time that John and Mable lived at their winter residence, contemporaries claim that the music could be heard across the bay on the barrier island of Long Boat Key.

Tthe last documented organ recital occurred in Spring 1947 with RMA Director, A. Everett Austin having engaged the well know Organist E. Power Briggs to play for a " fund raising spectatcular" organized by Austin at Ca d' Zan. The Organ is in need of restoration and we are advised that the cost to recommission the instrument is $780, 000. Currently, the conservationists at RMA are in consultation with staff at FSU, regarding the specifics
of such restorative eforts and the cost as well as the proper rotation of the pipes which is done periodically by the Museum.

PipeChat Digest #4213 - Monday, January 12, 2004