From: Ron Reseigh, Jan. 2007

To the best of my knowledge these are the ranks that are not original to the organ now:

Tuba Mirabilis (Kimball at the Roaring 20's - added to the organ for the restaurant as the original Stanley spec had NO Mirabilis)
English Post Horn (replaced with an earlier vintage Wurlitzer Post Horn (1921ish or '22ish)
Tibia Clausa (s)
Tibia Clausa (m)
Lieblich Flute (Moller Stopped Flute - added to the organ for the restaurant)
Concert Flute
Concert Flute Celeste
Quintadena (Austin)
Quintadena Celeste (Austin) (both Wurlitzer Quints were stolen prior to the installation at the restaurant)
Open Diapason (to replace Diaphonic as was too loud at Roaring 20's)
Horn Diapason Celeste (added to organ for its current home at the museum)
Solo String & Celeste (swapped out at the 20's for Wurlitzer Gambas and the Stanley SS's are now at Berkeley Community Theatre)
Muted Viol & Celeste (taken out of the spec for the restaurant)
8' Pedal Tibia Offset (separate 8' Tibia offset added to the organ in the restaurant to place in the dining room. 16' Tibia offset not installed in chamber but outside as well.)

From: Gary Reseigh, August 2007

As one who sat at the Jersey City console for close to 10 years and playing it nightly (along with Charlie B.), I can assure you all....the Jersey Stanley console is NOTHING like it was originally, a totally different animal.

While in the GR 20's, the console as far as dimensions, and horseshoe size and depth were just as in Jersey City. A wonderful spacious 3 manual (in a small 4 manual shell) with enough rail space to load the unification up the yang-yang and yet have this terrific spaciousness where you didn't feel "crowded and generally uncomfortable" while playing.

While I personally didn't have anything to do with the preparation or re-spec (which was totally unnecessary and ridiculous IMHO) into the museum, the console was, OF COURSE, syndined and gutted of all wind related gear. As a result of this 'MODERNIZATION", George Buck, who did the installation, completely re-configured the size and depth of the rails...where you used to feel this comfortable spaciousness, you now feel as though the horseshoe and rails are "closing in on you" and you feel cramped and crowded compared to the original Wurlitzer design.

While Ronnie was still living with me in GR, we both got involved with the museum to varying degrees, he actually spent much more time playing down there as I was usually playing a piano job somewhere in town at that time. Ronnie would play for tour groups and various events but also was aware that this was not the same console that he literally grew up being around from the time he was born.

From: Joel Gary, August 2007

Having worked for George Buck during the years that the Jersey City Stanley/Roaring 20's Wurlitzer was "rebuilt" and installed in the VanAndel Museum Center in Grand Rapids, I know first hand what was altered and left unchanged in regard to the console.

The dimensions of the stop rails were not altered in any way. The pneumatic stop action was removed from the main stop rails. The back rails were already fitted with Reisner electric stop actions during the 1970's rebuild for the Roaring 20's. The side partial rails had also been modified by Ron Mitchell with a different type of pneumatic action (made by Arndt, if I remember correctly) in order to add about seven more tabs to each side. We were able to reuse the existing main stop rails, modified on the back to accommodate Syndyne electric stop actions. We also replaced the Reisner units with those made by Syndyne. This allowed us to adjust the side to side spacing to fit approximately 3-4 more tabs on both the top and bottom stop rails. You will notice by examining pictures that the lid, complete with inlaid nameplates, is absolutely original.

As a result of the 1970's rebuild several important alterations were made to the Stanley console. The main stop rail action boxes were retrofitted with modern magnets. A Peterson solid state combination action was included. The piston rails were rebuilt to include more pistons but not in a typical Wurlitzer layout. This layout was retained at the museum (for better or worse!). Second touch was eliminated from the Great manual. An additional swell pedal was added for the percussion chamber (not currently used in the museum installation). The original pedalboard was replaced with one built by Moller to AGO standards. At some point during the Roaring 20's years of operation, the bench was exchanged for a new "concert" style bench built by Ken Crome.

While I don't agree with many aspects of the "rebuilding" and installation process as carried out by G.M. Buck Pipe Organs, Inc., I can attest to the very difficult and certainly less than ideal circumstances under which this once magnificent instrument had to be installed at the museum. It is important to note that having the Wurlitzer in the museum's small (less than 300 seat) auditorium was an after thought. The building had already been designed and cement was being poured by the time the organ was acquired. I strongly believe that opus 1836 deserves a more conducive and sympathetic home, but at least it has a home. There is not currently another building in Grand Rapids that could accommodate such an instrument. My hope is that some day a larger and more suitable auditorium could be built.

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