Saint Luke's Episcopal Cathedral
Skinner Organ Company, Opus 699, 1928
In the late 1960s some additions and alterations were made to the organ. Both Skinner consoles were removed and discarded for stop-tab style consoles. The Great division of the Main Organ received a four-rank mixture on new chest, and a Trompette-en- chamade was added to the balcony containing the Chapel Organ. Some voicing alterations were made in the 1970s, but otherwise the organ was largely retained as built by the Skinner firm.
In May 2001 a contract was signed for the complete restoration of Opus 699. Included was a new four-manual drawknob console by Richard Houghten for the chancel, as well as a rebuilding of the three-manual console for the Chapel Organ. The added mixture and windchest were replaced with a new mixture and chest more closely modeled on period Skinner designs, and a new Trompette-en-chamade, copied from a period Skinner French Trumpet, replaced the one installed in the 1960s.
The Skinner organ in St. Luke’s Cathedral has long been considered one of the firm’s most successful installations. Built in 1928, the instrument is a double-organ having a Main Organ in the chancel and a Chapel Organ at the opposite end of the building, which also handily serves as an effective Echo Organ to the Main Organ. Originally there was a three-manual console in the chancel and a two-manual console in the Chapel. The Chapel Organ has a duplex windchest, permitting it to function as a two-manual instrument for chapel services. A total of 3,063 pipes arranged in forty-seven ranks produced a total of fifty-three speaking stops.
All of the Skinner regulators, windchests and other electro-pneumatic mechanism were cleaned, releathered and refinished. The organ’s pipework was washed, repaired and regulated to original Skinner standards. Water-damaged organ chamber walls and ceilings were repaired and given several coats of paint to enhance sound egress. The restored instrument was completed in June 2003. Mr. Albert Melton is the Organist-Choirmaster and he plays the organ with consummate artistry for the services at St. Luke’s Cathedral.