From: Hal Kemp, Jan. 1998

The Organ was munfactured in Tonawanda NY with four ranks + chimes. The intrument was sent to the Wurlitzer Store in Chicago. The Company decided to put it on display at the world's fair. The Allen's were at the fair and purchased it. It was returned to the factory and two more ranks were added before it was delivered to the Allen's.

The Allen's hired a contractor to build an addition on the side of their home. The chamber was in the basement with an english pub/bar constructed in front area as a facade with a hidden panel for access to the chamber. The tone chute was poured in concrete ( 5'X9'). It extended up past the fist level and spoke out through a second story opening into the cathedral ceiling. The entire room was designed by an acoustic engineer with special walls and floor tiles. The console was places in the center of this enormous room.

I visited the home a few years ago and it was amazing to see the chamber and the great room. I was so impressed with the whole thing that I offered to sell the organ to the new owners of the house and they refused. They were bitter that is was removed. The story behind the removal: It seems that the second owner of the house and the new owner had some dispute just at the time of the closing. Apparently the decision was made to donate the instrument to the "Brick Church" on Fitzhugh St. The reason could not have been money because the dismantling of the pub and stairway. The enormous care in removing all the parts and packing of each pipe! The new owner arrived at the site with his keys in hand opened up the house. Upon touring the premises he noticed the console was missing from the great room. All that was left was a 1" hole in the floor. When they went down to the lower level the stair case and pub complete with bar was completely intact. No sign of any part of the Wurlitzer. No wonder they were upset. The lawyers battled a little a then the subject was dropped.

I will not break the Wurlitzer up for parts. I corresponded with a Frank Holland (deceased) in England a few years back. He determined that we had the largest collection of RJ 5000 rolls in existance. He wanted to borrow some rolls to recut for us and use them in lieu of the originals. After he died I have not heard any more from that museum.

Note: This instrument is available for sale at this time.
It comes complete with 72 rolls, including 11 by Jesse Crawford

Ranks: Open,Oboe,Salicional,Voix Cel,Flute,Vox + Chimes.
Straight residence style console with player. All ranks on 6".
The "standard" RJ8 also had a Chrys, but this "special" has two blank tabs instead.

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