Rainbow Room Wurlitzer
3/10 Wurlitzer Opus 2185
Restored Rainbow Room Art Deco Console
Moved to Rahway, NJ July 10, 1999
This organ is from the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center in New York City
This very special Wurlitzer pipe organ along with its two consoles, pristine pipe work, scratchless chests, roll player, along with a complete set of Wurlitzer organ rolls recorded by names like Jesse Crawford, was donated to GSTOS by Lee Hulko. The organ was packed and removed from its chambers and moved to its new home, the newly redone Senior Citizen facility in Rahway, NJ, by a very capable crew, made up mostly from members of our other regular organ crews.Restoration and Installation Pictures - July 31, 2008
After a slow start, the Rainbow Room Wurlitzer rebuilding and installation at the Rahway Senior Citizens Center gained momentum because the crew chief retired from his full time employment and was able to direct more of his energy to the project. By the end of 2008, the crew was able to play some notes manually on the main chest and on one of the offset chests. The ladies of the crew had finished restoring the last two regulators and two of the tremulants.
July, 2009 Crew Chief Report: As of June 18th we have both chambers about 95% winded. The swell shades in both chambers, two tremulants in the solo chamber, one small offset chest, and the chrysoglott are all that are left to be winded. These all require small 3" wind lines, which can be installed relatively quickly. The big challenge was the 10" metal wind lines from the blower to the regulators, which are now complete.
The walls in the solo chamber are nearly done. We had to build a platform over the shower area to level and repair the floor. This modification was necessary to install a regulator and the chimes in that area. George Andersen and Cal Bacon are cleaning up the wiring and troubleshooting the main chamber. Denise Andersen, Carole Rustako, Jinny Vanore and Barbara Bacon are rebuilding the tremulant pallet valves to improve the trem cycle. No matter what we throw in their direction, the ladies say, "we'll fix it," and "never a discouraging word" (my words).
One important aspect of the project is the repair and refinishing of the art deco console. Peragallo Pipe Organ Co. in Paterson did a first class job on a console that had seen its better days. It is as close to what it once looked like decades ago as is possible. Thanks Frank Peragallo!
The three rank solo chest, the offset chests, chimes, chrysoglott and swell shades, all in the solo chamber, still need to be wired into the computer. We're getting much closer to completion!
December, 2009 Crew Chief Report: A few weeks ago we pulled out the refinished console, took off the moving blankets, and started to assemble it. During refinishing, the console was partially disassembled for repairs and the refinishing processes. The bench, pedal board and panels were stored at my home until we were ready for them. Tony Rustako has been working on the new stop rail and key desk, replacing the old pneumatic actions with Syndyne actions. This was a necessary change due to the need for mobility of the console. The console will have a place of prominence on the floor of the Seniors Center, but it will have to be moved if the need arises. Unfortunately, most of the ivory key surfaces came loose during storage. To make this type of repair is very difficult and time-consuming. Also, a raised hardwood platform will be fabricated to match the existing floor and two grills for the chamber openings will be built and covered with the speaker material that matches the acoustic panels lining the walls of the main room. Tony also built and installed a remote start switch for the blower. George Andersen and Cal Bacon are finalizing the wiring of the solo chamber, along with some computer code and winding changes. These changes were the result of adding a thirty-seven note xylophone to the solo chamber. We had placed the chrysoglott in the solo chamber due the lack of room in the main chamber, where it would normally be installed. With the addition of the xylophone we had to rethink the location of the chrysoglott. We were able to move the 12-note flute offset in the main chamber to make room for the chrysoglott. This was no easy task. It took several work sessions to accomplish the move. Every installation is a learning process. Every new project results in new challenges, and new knowledge.
April, 2011 Crew Chief Report: The worst is over as far as demolition and construction of chambers and tone chutes. It has taken many years and countless hours to get to this point. For now, the organ is playing with the newly acquired Organ Supply console which will later find its permanent home with the GSTOS Wurlitzer at the Brook Theatre in Bound Brook The Rainbow Room console is nearing completion and will be placed on a movable platform. The Artisan electronic relay system is operating the organ with little or no problems, and thanks to this system we can move the console anywhere on the floor as needed.
We have tuned the organ completely now, and the results are amazing. The volume and tone have greatly increased -- it’s almost too loud without the swell shades, but that is a good thing! We had some concerns about low volume because of the building construction. This week we will install the swell shades, connect the rebuilt motors to them, and then connect them to the relay system. We should have full volume control soon. There are many refinements to be made, but they are small in comparison to what we have achieved to this point. We are getting a great deal of interest by the City of Rahway and the arts department as we near completion. There are rumblings about joint projects between the City and GSTOS for senior programs. The Jerseyaires have already mentioned that they were interested in some type of joint program. Building this organ is one thing, putting it to good use is another. The interest is there, and again, that’s a good thing!
October, 2011 Crew Chief Report: The organ is in its shakedown phase, playing for the public prior to tonal finishing and a formal debut;
“RAHWAY ARTS” TO FEATURE RAINBOW ROOM WURLITZER
AT “FIRST THURSDAYS”
The Town of Rahway is seeking to become an Arts destination, and has been waiting in anticipation for the completion of our Rainbow Room Wurlitzer at the Seniors Center. As a result, GSTOS is now part of their first Thursday of the month cultural program. Our role is to provide organists for the Rainbow Room Organ. The artists will play a one hour concert of music for the public. Admission is free, sponsored by the City of Rahway. Rahway Arts describes “First Thursdays” as follows: “The Arts come alive on the first Thursday of every month, when Downtown Rahway and the Rahway Arts District feature live music, exhibits, cultural attractions, performance art, and of course food and drink specials. The casual atmosphere in the heart of Rahway welcomes families and friends to the streets and businesses of Rahway for a night of arts and culture close to home.” See the Rahway Arts and Culture website: http://artsrahway.com for more details.
September, 2013: The shakedown concerts continue as the crew puts finishing touches on the organ prior to tonal finishing and a grand debut.
Rahway Senior Citizens Center
New Home of the GSTOS Rainbow Room Wurlitzer
Relay with the Relay !!
|Rainbow Room 3/10 Wurlitzer Stop List|
Solo Sub Accomp
Solo Sub Great
- 3/10 Wurlitzer, opus 2185, style R16, (R and RJ styles were residence organs) only 2 units built. Percussion 2, traps 0, Console; SC-Straight bolster console. Wiring schedule 1120.
- Although not mentioned in the specs, there is a role player mechanism with 290 rolls with 400 songs and a 2nd console.
- Ranks: Tuba, Open Diapason, Tibia Clausa, Clarinet, Oboe Horn, Salicional, Vox Celeste, Flute, Vox Humana, and Dulciana.
- Combination action: 5 per manual
- Console size:
60W x 34D x 57H.
Main chest - 7'6'' long x 5'6'' wide. Solo is much smaller 8' long x 4' wide/ Both chests are approx. 8' high.
- Tallest pipe: w/chest - 11' 0''
- Swell Shades: Main 5' x 7', Solo: 5' x 6'
- Relays: Key: 6' x 3'6'', Stop: 4'9'' x 3'6''.
- Tibia chest: 6' x 8' x 9''
- Diapason Chest: 11' H x 7'6'' L x 12'' D (18'' off floor)
- Tuba Chest: About the same as Diapason.
- Flute 16' Chest: 8' L x 12'' D x 8' H
Location / Owner History1) 1934 Radio City Rainbow Room, NY
2) 1954 Joe Oelhaf Residence, NY
3) Lee Hulko Residence New Hope, PA
4) 1999 GSTOS, Rahway Senior Center, NJ