Was yesterday gorgeous or was it gorgeous!?!? Yesterday started my jam packed summer schedule, of vacations, events guest coming and going, and weekend get-a-ways...my social scene is about to really swirl. Yesterday it kicked off with the legendary magic of the Wanamaker Organ concert in Philadelphia, accompanied with some members of the Philadelphia Brass. So some new readers may not be aware, the organ is located in what was the famous and elegant John Wanamaker department store which was around for almost 200 years, and now sadly Macy's owns. But, at least they have kept the organ playing daily, and still continue with tradition of great yearly concerts. It is also a treat to go and just soak in the incredible architecture this building has. Originally it was 12 floors of exclusive clothing boutique shops, but now reduced to three floors. But the architecture remains very opulent.
But the center piece of the place is it's huge organ!!!!
A picture of Peter Richard Conti on the balcony for Anne Marie......
Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. The Wanamaker organ is played twice a day Monday through Saturday, but more frequently during the Christmas season. The organ is also featured at several special concerts held throughout the year, including events featuring the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Festival Chorus and Brass Ensemble In its present configuration, the Wanamaker Organ has 28,604 pipes in 463 ranks. The organ console consists of six manuals with an array of stops and controls that command the organ. The organ's String Division forms the largest single organ chamber in the world. The instrument features eighty-eight ranks of string pipes. The organ is famed for its orchestra-like sound, coming from pipes that are voiced softer than usual, allowing an unusually rich build-up because of the massing of pipe-tone families. The artistic obligation entailed by the creation of this instrument has always been honored, with two curators employed in its constant and scrupulous care. The organ, with its regular program of concerts and recitals, was maintained by Wanamaker's throughout the chain's history, even as the company's financial fortunes waned. This level of dedication was maintained when corporate parentage shifted from the Wanamaker family to Carter Hawley Hale Stores followed by Woodward & Lothrop, Lord & Taylor and finally to Macy's.
A wooden sculpt of Schubert is found behind the organ stand gates!
Some more gratuitous architecture shots of this Grande Dame.....
If your a die hard Philadelphian, you'll be familiar with the old saying "Meet me at the eagle!" Handmade in Frankfurt, Germany, the bronze Wanamaker Eagle weighs 2,500 pounds and sits on a granite base in the Grand Court. The floor of the Grand Court had to be strengthened with girders to support it. There are 5,000 sculpted feathers on the entire Eagle!!!!
Some exterior shots.....
This Grande Dame sits catty-corner to another of my favorite building for architecture.....City Hall!
I'll be sharing some amazing shots I got there soon. In the meantime if you want more information on the organ visit The Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. And to hear this amazing instrument...take a listen! Tootles!!!!