Chicago-Midwest Chapter

Organ Historical Society

Grace United Methodist Church
244 E Center Avenue
Lake Bluff, Illinois

In 1887, the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church was founded.  Many of the founding members attended Grace Church of Chicago.  Initial meetings were held in members’ homes  The first building was erected and dedicated in 1891, four years before the Village of Lake Bluff was incorporated.

In 1899, the Methodist Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association was disbanded and its 2,500 seat tabernacle was demolished.  With a donation of $4,000, present site was acquired.  With only minor changes, the structure served until 1948 when major renovations and additions resulted in the present sanctuary, Northrop Chapel, Fellowship Hall and Fireplace Room.  Benjamin Franklin Olson was architect.  In 1959 the Education Building was added.

The first organ owned by the congregation was built in 1916 by A. B. Felgemaker of Erie, Pennsylvania.  Opus 1226 was a two-manual, electro-pneumatic action organ of about fifteen ranks.  George Nelson of Seattle, Washington relates that the Swell chest had 73-notes.  A combination action provided three Great and Pedal and four Swell and Pedal combinations, with General Release.  In addition to the Swell expression shoe, a Crescendo shoe was also provided.  No further information on this organ has come to light.

The present sanctuary was initially served by an electronic substitute.  The present pipe organ was built in 1929 by the W. W. Kimball Co. of Chicago for the Church of the Holy Spirit, Episcopal, of nearby Lake Forest.  In 1972, when Holy Spirit replaced the Kimball with a new Harrison & Harrison organ, the Episcopal church gave the organ to the Lake Bluff congregation.  Frank J. Sauter & Sons moved the organ to the present site in 1973 and have carried out some alterations and additions to the instrument over the years.  A dedication recital was given in Grace Church in April of 1974 by Robert Huhn, organist, and Charles Smith, pianist.  Sauter installed some additions in 1988 and 1989, at which time a rededication recital occurred in April of 1989 by Gary Stuart.  The original console is still in use and still has its “K.P.O. 7071” plate, indicating its opus number.

Present specification of W. W. Kimball K.P.O.7071 (abbreviations as found at the console):

Great Organ (Manual II―7 ½” wind pressure)

8 Open Diap. (73 pipes)
8 Viola Diap. (73 pipes)
8 Gross Flute (73 pipes)
8 Gems. (73 pipes)
4 Octave (73 pipes)
2-2/3 Twelfth (61 pipes)
2 Fifteen [sic] (61 pipes)
III Mixture (183 pipes)*
Chimes (20 tubes—tenor A through soprano E)
Tower Chimes
2 blank tablets
Great Sub 16’
Great Super 4’
Swell Sub 16’
Swell Unis. 8’
Swell Super 4’
Choir Unis. 8’
Choir Super 4’

Swell Organ (Manual III―5” wind pressure)

16 Bourdon (73 pipes)
8 Chim. Flute (73 pipes)
8 Viola (73 pipes)
8 Salic. (73 pipes)
8 Voix Celeste (draws Viola—73 pipes)
4 Principal (probably old 8’ Diapason repitched—61 pipes)
4 Flute Harm. (73 pipes)
2 Flaut. (61 pipes)
IV Mixture (183 pipes)*
8 Cornop. (73 pipes)
8 Oboe Horn (73 pipes)
8 Vox Humana (73 pipes)
Vox Vib
8 Fanfare Trompette (copper, mounted horizontally in chamber—61 pipes)*
1 blank tablet
Swell Sub 16’
Swell Super 4’
Choir Sub 16’
Choir Unis. 8’
Choir Super 4’

Choir Organ (Manual I—7 ½” wind pressure)

8 Melodia (73 pipes)
8 Dulc. (73 pipes)
8 Unda Maris (73 pipes)
4 Flute d’Amour (bored stoppers—73 pipes)
2-2/3 Nazard (61 pipes)*
2 Principal (61 pipes)*
1-3/5 Tierce (61 pipes)*
8 Clarinet (73 pipes)
8 Tromba (originally in Great, spotted metal resonators, 5 open metal trebles—73 pipes)
8 Fanfare Trompette (from Swell, 8’ Fanfare Trompette)*
1 blank tablet
Swell Sub 16’
Swell Super 4’
Choir Sub 16’
Choir Unis. 8’
Choir Super 4’

Pedal Organ

32 Acoustical Bass (resultant, from 16’ Bourdon)
16 Trombone (actually 16’ Diaphone, extension of 8’ Open Diapason—12 pipes)
16 Bass Viol (44 pipes)
16 Bourdon (extension, Great, 8’ Gross Flute, 12 pipes)
16 Lieb. Ged.—from Swell 16’ Bourdon
8 Flute (from Great, 8’ Gross Flute)
8 Cello (extension, 16’ Bass Viol)
8 Still Ged. (from Swell, 16’ Bourdon)
8 Open Diap. (originally in Great (?)—44 pipes)
4 Choral Bass (extension, 8’ Open Diap.)
Tower Chimes
Great to Pedal 8’
Great to Pedal 4’
Swell to Pedal 8’
Swell to Pedal 4’
Choir to Pedal 8’
Choir to Pedal 4’


6 General pistons (thumb, above Manual III (cash-register type), and toe)
6 Swell pistons (thumb, below Manual III)
6 Great pistons (thumb, below Manual II)
6 Choir pistons (thumb, below Manual I)
6 Pedal pistons (toe)
Great Unison Off (thumb, on/off, left key cheek, Manual II)
Swell Unison Off (thumb, on/off, left key cheek, Manual III)
Choir Unison Off (thumb, on/off, left key cheek, Manual I)
Great to Pedal reversible (toe)
Chimes soft (toe, with indicator light)
Chimes sust. (toe, with indicator light)
Swell expression shoe
Great/Choir expression shoe
Cresc. shoe (with indicator light)
Master Pedal Lock (All Swells to Swell, toe, with indicator light)
Sforz reversible (toe, with indicator light)


9/27/2005 - © Chicago-Midwest Chapter, Organ Historical Society