Skinner Player Pipe Organ Preservation

In January of 2014, Brucemore began a three-phase restoration project of the 1929 Skinner player pipe organ that is expected to be complete in 2018. The ongoing care of Opus 754 is a priority for Brucemore. Conservator Jeff Weiler was hired to preserve this rare and remarkable instrument that is an essential part of the site’s history and fundamental to the visitors' experience.

In 2013, Weiler conducted a survey of the instrument, documenting the current condition of the organ and providing recommendations for future work. The survey revealed the organ was long overdue for a full restoration. Pipe organs should be restored every 50 to 60 years, and for Opus 754 to have survived 84 years without restoration is a testament to the craftsmanship.

  • Phase I: Restore the three-horsepower motor, direct current generator, blower room reservoir, player system relay, and pedal relay
  • Phase II: Remove and clean all 715 pipes
  • Phase III: Restore the organ console and player system in the Great Hall

Weiler, a native of Cedar Rapids and a Coe College graduate, continued his education at Northwestern University where he earned a master's degree and doctorate of music (ABD). He has been professionally engaged in organ building and restoration since 1981. In that time, he has restored organs in Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, and the United States. Some of his recent projects can be found in the Cedar Rapids area, where he returned to his alma mater to restore Coe College's 1929 Skinner organ blowing plant and worked on St. Mark's Lutheran Church's 1928 Skinner organ, the Paramount Theatre's 1928 Wurlitzer organ, and Theatre Cedar Rapids' 1928 Wangerin/Barton organ.

Make a donation to support Brucemore's Skinner player pipe organ by calling (319) 362-7375 or visit Support Our Projects. This fund not only supports ongoing preservation maintenance, but the development of public programming.

Read more about the history of Brucemore's Skinner player pipe organ

Watch a news segment about the project that aired on KCRG-TV9 on January 22, 2014


A closer look....


Support Brucemore's ongoing preservation efforts

Preserving Brucemore's built and natural assets is an act of unconditional stewardship. Participate in the rehabilitation of the buildings, gardens, and grounds by making a one-time or annual gift to our preservation projects.