Basement Bijou in the News

3,000-pipe Organ Hits Right Chord

Here’s a nice article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the incredible Wurlitzer installation in the Fred Hermes residence near Racine, Wisconsin. If you can ever visit, absolutely make it a priority. This is a destination organ!

Fred Hermes says he doesn’t move as easily as he used to. You wouldn’t believe him if you watched the 89-year-old play the rare 1926 Wurlitzer theater organ housed in his Caledonia basement, his fingers flipping buttons and flying across the five keyboards while his feet effortlessly work the pedals below.

Tucked under a three-bedroom ranch at the end of a dead-end road along Lake Michigan, the basement looks ordinary enough from the outside. A hand-painted wooden “Theatre” sign is the only hint of what lies inside. But a step through the basement door is like traveling through a time machine straight into a 1920s movie palace. Rows of red theater seats on the main level and in a balcony face the organ console elevated on a stage; Roman columns, sculptures and crystal chandeliers decorate the room; multicolored lights illuminate the stage and ceiling.

You may read the entire article online (thanks, MSJ!) but if your browser is cranky, here’s a PDF of this fine article by Chelsey Lewis.

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

Leave a Reply