1919 Kilgen Opus 3004

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Bluepoint)

Altamont, IL


The congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran invested wisely in 1919 when they purchased Kilgen’s Opus 3004! George Kilgen started building organs in New York City in 1831, and relocated to St. Louis in 1873. His son Charles became a partner in 1885, and the firm became George Kilgen & Son. (This is what appears on the console nameplate, which was replicated as part of the recent restoration.) Kilgen remained in business until 1960, and built over 4000 pipe organs. Although they began using “newfangled” electro-pneumatic action in many of their instrument along with the majority of other organ builders in the early 20th century, they also continued to manufacture organs such as this one, with mechanical action. (Contemporary Kilgen “tracker” organs continue to provide reliable service in churches in Delavan, Bloomington (1904), Griggsville (1914), and Urbana (1912), among others.)

Although extremely well-built, the original tonal resources of Opus 3004 reflected the then-current style of organbuilding. In 1982 the church engaged Paul Bunjes of Concordia College in River Forest, as consultant to enhance the organ’s specification. Bunjes, who had a national reputation as an organ designer and architect, specified all details of the work, which was carried out by David Skinner. Over the past three months Buzard Pipe Organ Builders of Champaign, IL has completed a total renovation of the instrument. The entire instrument was disassembled and returned to their factory, where all components of the organ were restored to as-new condition.

The organ has 12 stops, 16 ranks, and 867 pipes. The reservoir was originally double-rise and had hand-pumping feeders. The electric blower was installed in 1942. The wind pressure is 3.25,” and the pitch is A435 Hz.

George Kilgen & Son, Opus #3004

Swell Organ
Upper manual, enclosed and expressive
8′ Gedeckt
4′ Harmonic Flute
4′ Principal
2′ Block Floete
II Kornett (t.c.)
Great Organ
Lower manual
8′ Principal
8′ Stopped Bass
8′ Melodia
4′ Octave
4′ Flute d’Amour
III-IV Mixture

16′ Subbass
8′ Offen Floete
4′ Choral Bass (ext.)
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal