On May 2, 1955, Capitol Drive Lutheran Church ordered Opus 1155 from the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas for its new church building. It was designed by Franklin Mitchell who was the tonal director of the Reuter Company. He worked in consultation with Arthur E. Bergmann of Saint Louis, who acted as consultant for the church. The organ installation was accomplished by Fred C. Weickhardt & Son who were the local Milwaukee Reuter Organ Company representatives. The junior Mr. Weickhardt was a member of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church at the time.
The organ was dedicated to the glory of God in two dedicatory recitals by E. Power Biggs on November 18, 1956. Famous organists who have performed on the organ include William Self, Virgil Fox, Jean Langlais, Flor Peeters, Frederick Swann, Paul Manz and many others. Other groups performing with the organ include the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Lutheran A Cappela Choir.
The organ is a three-manual instrument, that is, one containing three keyboards or manuals, each with sixty-one notes, and a pedal board with thirty-two notes. It contains forty-one ranks consisting of approximately two thousand four hundred pipes. These are constructed of wood and metal with the largest more than sixteen feet in height while the smallest is considerably smaller than an ordinary pencil. Several miles of electrical wiring are necessary to make connections between the console and various parts of the organ.
Pipework for the main organ, which consists of the Great, Swell, and most of the Pedal Division is located on the right side of the chancel as one faces the altar. The Gallery Organ, is located about one hundred feet away near the rare of the sanctuary. It contains its own ensemble and pedal rank and is in reality a complete instrument that can be used independently or in conjunction with the main organ.
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Pipe Organ Fund
Please consider making a donation to the Pipe Organ Restoration Fund. Continued repairs to this pipe organ in an efficient manner will prevent this organ from falling into a state of un-recoverable disrepair. Your contributions to the organ fund are greatly appreciated. You may donate through PayPal by clicking on the donate button below or sending a check to the church office – Capitol Drive Lutheran Church 5229 W Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53216. All contributions are fully tax-deducible as allowed by IRS regulations.