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MMD > Archives > April 2015 > 2015.04.15 > 06Prev  Next

FS: Large Aeolian Residence Player Organ
By Nelson Barden

One of the most prominent early 20th century Aeolian patrons was
Nicholas Brady, a New York City businessman and philanthropist whose
Fifth Avenue home featured a 1909 Aeolian Organ.  In 1917 Mr. and Mrs.
Brady built a Tudor Revival summer residence known as "Inisfada"
(Gaelic for Long Island) in Manhasset, New York.  Surrounded by thirty
acres of lawns, gardens and woodland, the 87 room mansion featured
a two-story living room with an Aeolian of 63 ranks and 4,000 pipes.
A few years later the Bradys enlarged the instrument to 85 ranks and
5,500 pipes.

After Mr. Brady died in 1930, Mrs. Brady donated Inisfada to a
religious society that used it as a seminary and retreat house for
over 75 years.  During this time the Aeolian remained undisturbed in
its attic chamber.  In 2013 the house and surrounding estate were sold
to a developer for $36.5 million.  Despite efforts to save Inisfada
by the Long Island Historical Society and preservation activists, the
mansion was demolished.  Often when large houses containing pipe organs
are torn down, the organ is lost, but in this case it was saved intact.

The owner of Inisfada retained specialist firms to save major portions
of the building.  Large crews carefully removed angels and gargoyles,
carvings and cornices, panels of fine woodwork, huge stone fireplaces
and marble floors.  The exquisite carved walls and ceiling of the Brady
family chapel were photographed, documented and removed for reuse by
Fordham University.  The Organ Clearing House of Boston was retained to
build hundreds of crates, and to label, catalog and pack the Aeolian's
5,500 pipes, as well as its two consoles, dual blowers and tons of
mechanism.  After hundreds of man hours over two weeks, the entire
instrument was carefully moved to a nearby storage warehouse.

The Inisfada organ is believed to be the last large, pre-1925 Aeolian
in excellent restorable condition.  Virtually complete in every detail
and built to standards that can hardly be achieved today, it is a
remarkable opportunity to experience music of the millionaires from
90 years ago.  The present owners welcome proposals from 501(C)(3)
non-profit organizations for a restoration and reuse plan for this
historic instrument.  For more information and a full specification
of the organ send email to the address below.

Nelson Barden
Boston [delete ".geentroep" to reply]

 [ Inisfada Living Room

 [ "A Duo-Art player was included and, in addition to a Harp and
 [ Chimes, a piano was also playable from the console."  Ref.;%20charset=iso-8859-1&header=1 
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 15 Apr 2015, 20:03:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian, FS, Large, Organ, Player, Residence

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