Iowa City church gets its pipe organ back - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City church gets its pipe organ back

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Last April we told you about renovations at Iowa City's historic Trinity Episcopal Church, which included taking out a century-old Pilcher pipe organ for cleaning and tuning.

Now, the team that took the organ out is busy putting the monstrous instrument back in. Pieces of pipe organ lay all over the church's halls and sanctuary.

"This chamber's been opened up and raised," said Paul Lytle, Vice President of Bedient Pipe Organ Company.

That's one challenge facing this team; the space for the organ was renovated, and the walls have changed a bit.

"When we find pieces that may not fit exact because of the new work that's been done to the building," Lytle explained, "we'll get in there and they'll take hand tools, chisels, and what's necessary to re-adjust and re-fit the pieces."

And there are boxes and bags of those pieces, from giant pipes to tiny screws, all labeled so they go back to the right places.

"Many organs are thousands of parts and pieces," said project manager Chad Johnson. That means a lot of measuring, because if just one part is off, there could be trouble.

"It's a snowball effect. If you don't start your bottom out right, and everybody doesn't build their parts correctly, it just gets worse as you get toward the top."

Johnson will know every square inch of this organ when he's finished. This team says the process of putting back together this giant puzzle of an instrument can be tricky at times, but finally seeing it put back together is what makes it all worth the trouble.

Some of their work involves heavy lifting and making noise that you may not call "music to your ears," but Johnson says the payoff lies ahead.

"You get to actually handle each part, see it come apart in pieces, put it back together, and eventually hear it play again."

The team plans to tune the organ within the next week or so.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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