The Kimball Project

 
 

Few people today know what it is like to experience one of the Great Kimballs.  I believe all of the surviving concert instruments are in storage, and have been for some time. Oh, sure, we have plenty of recordings, but I will tell you from personal experience that there has not been made a sound system that can reproduce that sound, so perfectly coupled into the air that it becomes synergistic, the whole greater than the sum of the parts. It is a perfect impedance match between organ, organist, atmosphere, and listener.


From the organist’s point of perspective it can only be likened to having the power of God in your hands. When you sit at these instruments you feel like you can do anything!


The restoration will take several years. As we progress I am posting comments and photos to this web site, for friends of the organ to follow along. Just click on the titles of the above photos.

I worked on this instrument in the 1970’s, under the guidance of the late Bill Oberg, and along with Robert Hopkins, Buddy Kirtland, and at times others. Here are a few photos from those times.


I moved back to St. Louis in 1977, but came back to work on the organ a number of times.


When the auditorium was scheduled to be demolished the organ was put into storage in an adjacent building, where it eventually was water damaged. Here are photos of that disaster.


I put those pictures on my web site in hopes of getting the convention center manager in trouble for allowing the damage. That of course did not work, as the memphis government makes pre Katrina New Orleans look like Utopia. However, those photos did draw a lot of attention, including a gentleman from Los Angles. He had the desire to restore this forlorn behemoth, and engaged my services, moved the organ to Fenton Missouri, and arranged a warehouse for the work.

This page updated 5/31/2012

© 2011 Marlin H. Mackley

       All rights reserved.

Restoration

The Great Kimball Organ

Opus 7034    Built for the Memphis Auditorium