The Memphis Kimball


T’is I standing along side the 40 horse power Spencer blower that fed the North Hall organ. Another 20 HP blower for the South Hall organ was positioned directly behind the camera.

North Hall Attic Chambers.  This photo is a composite of six exposures, showing the view of the swell shade openings from the tone chute. I was standing on an open metal walkway suspended just above the original ceiling tone grill, which was 90 to 100 feet above the auditorium floor. Looking down was not for the faint of heart!

The divisions are, from left to right: 1st shade frame Choir, 2nd and 3rd Great, 4th and 5th Swell, and 6th Solo. The service access doors were full size, and give an idea of the size of the installation. The Swell chamber was accessed via an internal door just inside the Solo access door. Automatic fire doors are mounted above each shade frame. The 3 wind trunks ran across the front just below view, and had to be straddled to get to two of the access doors. The percussion visible out front was a temporary addition by Bill Oberg.

The console as positioned in the North Hall. The small switches under the left key desk were for Bill Oberg’s added percussion. This was situated on a shallow platform to the right of the stage. Originally this console, on a very long cable, was stored in a closet in the basement directly under this area. When needed the stage crew rolled it onto he orchestra lift, and brought it up while watching that the cable went properly into a notch at the lift edge. Console air was originally supplied through a series of fire hoses connected to a regulator suspended on the basement ceiling. When the newer lift was installed the console could no longer be rolled onto it, as the lift pit was bricked in!

It took three of us two weeks to unwire the console, and after the stage hands brought it out through a new hole in the pit wall, wire it back up. Also during this time I recovered the high pressure regulators, which had been shut off.

Old Photos