High School’s Million Dollar Forgotten Aeolian

L-P’s Million Dollar Music Machine

“After a storm last year caused water damage to the 1929 Aeolian organ located in Matthiessen Auditorium a study was conducted to determine the level of damage for an insurance claim. That study performed by Chicago-based organ curator and conservationist Jeff Weiler’s company uncovered more than was expected.”

Read about this forgotten organ in a high school in La Salle, Illinois, and why it was recently discovered. Many high schools had organs installed into their auditoriums in the 1920s and 30s. Most original installations are gone or have been mangled beyond recognition. This one survived because it was forgotten and ignored. Let’s watch what they decide to do with this precious organ.

This entry was posted in Education/Information. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to High School’s Million Dollar Forgotten Aeolian

  1. Since posting about this story, several other papers have carried it as well with different headlines. So far, all of the comments have been about how lucky they are to have found this treasure and they will surely find a way to preserve it. I can’t help but think that somewhere, someone must feel contempt for the many who ignored the organ over decades and allowed it to decay, forgotten until the storm damage alerted them. There is an implied fiduciary responsibility for those in charge of the physical plant of a school or other building, and this was missing for a very long time in this case.

  2. John Carleton says:

    One positive is that this jewel was found, intact, and can be saved. Let’s all encourage them to do the right thing. Is O.H.S. aware of this instrument ?

    John C

  3. Here’s recent news of an upcoming hearing.

    Superintendent Steve Wrobleski said Jeff Weiler, a Chicago-based organ curator and conservationist who previously prepared a study on the 83-year-old organ, will address the school board on Wednesday, June 20.

    Weiler’s original report noted that the pipe organ, which suffered water damage in a storm last year, was “extremely rare and has national significance.”

    While a “museum-quality restoration” could take two years and about $450,000 to complete, the school board has applied for a state maintenance grant to cover the costs associated with a roughly $22,436 project to make the organ functional.
    Wrobleski said the board is still waiting to hear if they receive the grant.

    The school board meets at 6 p.m. in the school library.

  4. Pingback: Aeolian Organ of National Importance (video) | MMS Organ Music Blog

Leave a Reply