From: Joseph M Mccabe, January 1999
Last June, Shea's Buffalo Theatre began a milestone project which will
allow them to bring in Major broadway shows from NYC.Everything from the
proscenium arch arch backwards would be new including stage house,
rigging, dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, offices, loading docks, etc.
As it stands a sight to see today, currently the last of the "major
construction is being finished, the last items on the list will be done
including a new stage floor, "box booms" being installed in the
proper, and electrical. This new building essentially "enveloped the
former stagehouse & dressing rooms and was demolished from the inside
after the new structure was erected.
The organ has a long and interesting story.....
As expansion would allow a large (but limited) time in which the organ
would not be used, it was determined that early on in planning, if
financial plans permitted, the console would be re-finished. After
funding was in place, the large 4 manual console was removed to the shop
of Illos Piano Rebuilders & Music center. (for those interested:
http://www.illos.com) where it is currently being restored to a finish
similar to its original mohagany finish. Working close with the shop,
this will also allow for a connector to be installed on the pedal wiring
cable which during the organ restoration of 1984, was overlooked. This
will allow for ease of service.
During the construction over the last three months, vibrations and
caused SEVERE damage to the CEILING of the brass chamber which inturn
spilled plaster onto the chests causing MINOR damage. Also, directly
across on the opposite side of the theater, plastered which had been
damaged from water as far back as the 1950's was starting to come loose.
At that time, I meet with the theater management and construction firm
to determine what would be in the best interest of everyone involved. It
was then determined that the contractor/theatre would repair/replace
damaged and missing plaster in the two organ chambers which have
a great deal of damage over the years. In order to do this however, The
contractor needed to have as much as possible removed from the chambers.
Shortly there after, an agreement was reached in which I (as well
assistance from others) would remove everything from the chambers except
large 16'offsets (example: tibia plena 16', very bottom of the diaphone,
bombarde 16', etc.), regulators, major airlines, and large percussions
(like the marimba harp). This meant that essentially everything else
chests to trems had to come out.
Over the past week, pipes have been packed safely in trays, and
has been lowered down two stories to the balcony level of the theater.
open ends on airlines are currently being sealed, and remaining organ
components sealed in plastic. The english horn and tuba mirabilis are
awaiting resonator repair.
Since the expansion project, awareness of the organ has increased 200%+
just with the consruction firms and theatre staff!!!!! Full cooperation
has been given by the theatre to insure QUALITY RESTORATION to the
complete instrument to keep it in prime ORIGINAL condition. The theatre
has also insured that the organ is to be up and running before the
re-opening of the theatre MAy 5th, 1999. It is currently predicted that
organ re-installation will take place around April 1, 1999 in which
everycomponent in the two chambers being re-plastered, will be cleaned
and restored to working order. Additional work also needed includes
cleaning of the blower room (adjacent to the new understage area) and
console adjustments after it arrives back home to the theatre.