Lerner Restoration Complete with Installation of Organ

September 06, 2012

The final piece of the Lerner Theatre restoration is in place with the installation of a fully restored 1924 pipe organ.

A crew of nearly 20 from Bunn-Minnick Pipe Organs of Columbus, Ohio, spent three weeks hoisting equipment and filling the two pipe chambers with more than 1,000 pipes.

The project has absorbed nearly 10,000 man hours for the crew over the past year.

The project was first on the horizon 12 years ago, according to Phil Minnick, president and tonal director for the organ company.

The process began by assessing the damage to the old organ, then came the dismantling and moving of parts to Ohio.

After restoring what Minnick calls "the crown jewel" of the old theater, the Kimball organ was packed up and sent to Elkhart for installation.

There are only three original Kimball organs still in their original theaters in the United States.