Photo 1

Photo 1. View of the stage left side of the theater. The Swell chamber is behind the large screen on the left.


Photo 2

Photo 2. View of the inside of the Swell chamber showing the lower portion of the window into which the swell shades and frame had to be mounted.


Photo 3

Photo 3. Ben drills a whole in the structural beam of the building in order to provide a firm place to mount the swell shades.


Photo 4

Photo 4. Carl and Michael put a long board into the structural beam after it has been drilled. The board was affixed to the structural beam.


Photo 5

Photo 5. Wes, who did much of the structural design work for the project, does the final shaping of a board to go behind the swell shade frames.


Photo 6

Photo 6. Phil and John prepare a swell shade frame to be roped up into the Great/Pedal chamber. All frames plus 22 sheets of plywood for the floor had to be roped up in a similar manner.


Photo 7

Photo 7. The final product: The Great/Pedal chamber floor and walls are done and ready for the organ to be installed.


Photo 8

Photo 8. The final product: The Swell chamber is done and ready for the organ to be installed.


Carl Dodrill 04/06/09

Spring Break at Roosevelt this year provided the opportunity for the Pipe Organ Foundation to get in the pipe chambers and to prepare them for the installation of the instrument this summer. During Spring Break, a dozen volunteers put in nearly 200 hours of labor in four days with the objective of completing two basic tasks.

First, the floors of the Great/Pedal and Swell chambers had to be prepared for the organ installation. Since earthquake is a significant concern in the Pacific Northwest, the floor of each chamber had to be prepared for this eventuality. This meant putting down a two layer plywood floor with one layer running at right angles to the other layer. Each part of the organ will be securely fastened to this wood floor. The two layers are tightly connected with one another, but neither layer is connected with the floor of the building on which they sit. Further, as per engineering consultation, we left a one inch space between the plywood floor and all walls. During a severe earthquake, it is believed that this will allow the building to move without the organ having to move either as severely or as sharply as the building must move. We had to haul in 22 sheets of plywood, rope them up into the chambers, cut them to size, and affix them to each other to achieve our objectives with the floor.

The second objective was to mount the swell shades and swell shade frames on the walls. This required considerable preparation of the building to receive the swell shade assemblies. Wes, Foundation Vice President and a contractor, masterminded this part of the project. Each chamber had a built-in window nine feet square which was hidden behind one of the copper mesh screens. Each window also had a large structural iron beam running horizontally through the window. The structural beams had to be drilled in order to provide a surface even with the wall upon which the swell shade frames could be mounted. The parts of the window not used had to be filled in, and other modifications had to be made such that the shades would open and close around the structural beams.

In four days of Spring Break, both the objectives with the floor and the
swell shades were achieved, and the chambers are now ready for installation of the organ this summer. See photos for details about the work that was done to make the space ready for the installation of the Roosevelt organ.

Photos 1-6 in the left sidebar were taken by Carl Dodrill. You can see a larger image by clicking on the smaller image.

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