St. John Baptist Episcopal Chapel Elkhart IL 1891 Hook & Hastings, Opus 1481

St. John the Baptist Episcopal Chapel
Elkhart, IL

This is an absolutely first-class instrument, built in 1891 as the Opus 1481 of the preeminent Boston firm of Hook & Hastings. Its playing mechanism is still working well after over a century of service, which has included the instrument’s relocation from its original location at the front of the chapel.

Unfortunately, a 1980’s overhaul of the instrument may have been well­-intentioned, but was exceedingly ill-informed. The original wind system was discarded, leaving instead of the original double-rise reservoir a home-made concoction of entirely inadequate capacity and exceptionally poor design.

As a first-step towards a proper restoration of the instrument, a double-rise reservoir was constructed, using dimensions and details garnered from another single-manual Hook & Hastings organ built within the same decade as this instrument.

Future restoration work will include returning the organ to its original specification, for which surplus Hook & Hastings pipework has been acquired by Buzard for this purpose.