Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Lancaster, PA


Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster apparently procured an organ as early as 1744. This instrument may have been built by Johann Gottlob Clemm. In 1766, when the church completed their new church building, Tannenberg was paid to transfer the old organ and make repairs. In 1771, however, the church began to secure funds for a new organ. A receipt signed by Tannenberg in 1772 for £150 could possibly indicate that the organ cost £450 since he usually received payments in thirds.

The organ contained two manuals (Haupt Manual and Oberwerk) and pedal with 20 stops. Unfortunately, no stop list seems to have survived. The splendid case was built by Peter Frick, a cabinetmaker from Germantown. In 1792, when the church tower and steeple were being built, Tannenberg was contacted regarding moving of the bellows. Again in 1803, Tannenberg was asked to perform some repairs (probably tuning) to the organ.

The organ apparently remained more or less unaltered for 79 years. It was moved two feet closer to the back wall in 1848 presumably to provide more space in the gallery. This work was done by Corrie of Philadelphia. Whether any alterations were done to the organ at that time is unknown. In 1853, the interior of the church was remodeled and in the following year, the organ was replaced by Henry Knauff. Because funds were limited, Knauff used the case and the front pipes of the Hauptwerk on which he installed "ears". It seems that he may have used a number of other ranks from the Tannenberg organ as well. An old photograph shows the organ in this state (see below). The Knauff organ lasted until 1887 when it was replaced by Hilborne Roosevelt again using the old case. In 1893, the case was significantly enlarged by the addition of an extra tower and flat to each side by Bernard Mudler of Philadelphia. The work is remarkable in that it matches the style of Tannenberg's old case. The Roosevelt organ was replaced in 1923 by a Casavant and that organ, in turn, was replaced by an organ by M. P. Moller in 1962. The spectacular case, however, has been preserved in its 1893 form. The 35 front pipes from the Principal 4' of the Oberwerk are remarkable in that they have remained unused (and as a result, unaltered) from 1853 (see photo below).

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures:

Old photo: Credit: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster, PA, photos 2 - 4 were taken in October, 2007 and photo #4 shows the tower of the church which
was added in 1794. Tannenberg designed the scaffolding for the its construction. Photos 5 - 8 were taken with the author's iPhone in March, 2011.

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