Saskatoon church calls for removal of 100-year-old organ from building – Saskatoon

A Saskatoon church has asked that a broken historic organ be removed from the building and placed in a museum because it does not have the funds to repair them.

The 1913 Casavant organ located inside the former Third Avenue United Church, now known as the Saint-Vincent de Lérins Orthodox Church, is considered a historic property and cannot be moved under of the municipal heritage designation established by the City of Saskatoon.

It has undergone two major repairs during its life – once in the 1950s and again in the 1980s – and would need to undergo costly repairs again to be able to be used.

“When simply turned on, a single pipe plays loudly and can only be turned off by climbing into the guts of the pipes and turning it off manually. The console is old and slowly deteriorating, and when it stops working the organ can no longer be played,” Father Herman Fields wrote in a letter to the city.

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A letter from the church to the city said the organ would cost $1 million to $2 million to restore to usable condition, but noted that it had not received a quote in the past eight years.

Fields said all funds raised and budget money must be used for the building’s mortgage, upkeep and upkeep.

The Church argued that because the organ has already been revised several times, very few parts of the 1913 organ remain.

The group argued that the instrument can no longer be considered the “original” organ and a heritage item.

Peggy Sarjeant of the Saskatoon Heritage Society said the organ is culturally significant to the organization and is considered an integral part of the building’s interior.

“The congregation was always aware that the organ was a designated feature of the building and promised to make it available for playing on occasion,” Sarjeant said.

The Heritage Society has requested that any decision regarding the organ be delayed until further discussions can take place on the expenditure and available options.

“Accepting this request would set an unfortunate precedent that would compromise the integrity of the heritage designation process. »

The municipal administration recommended that the church’s request be granted and that the organ be moved out of the building to a museum or similar institution.

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The report will be forwarded to the city’s standing political committee for review.

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