Philadelphia's voice 2

Philadelphia's voice

Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the world's largest operating musical instrument, located in the magnificent 7-story Grand Court in Macy's Center City (former Wanamaker department store). Originally built in 1904 at the St. Louis World Fair in Philadelphia, retailer John Wanamaker bought the instrument for his new store. The Grand Court Organization debuted in 1911 and has given concerts at least twice a day from Monday to Saturday.

When the body arrived in 1909, it had more than 10,000 tubes. Between 1911 and 1930, Rodman Wanamaker (son of John) tripled the instrument, and today the device has 28,677 tubes in 463 rows. The console consists of six manuals with a set of stops and controls that control the body and has 3 instrumental orchestras.

The device requires constant care and maintenance so that the famous organist Peter Richard Conte can organize free concerts twice a day. This summer, curator Curt Mangel takes it for three weeks to install a new "brain" in the body and renew the console area, which is the body's first "vacation" during his working hours in 103 years of history.