Central Lutheran Church

222 South Twelfth Street
Minneapolis, MN

Builder: Casavant Freres, Opus 2722 (1963)
Manuals: 4
Ranks: 107
Stops: 77
Action: Electro-pneumatic
Design: Lawrence Phelps

Notes: Original installation and finishing took 9 months. Large counterweight in the parking lot balances the weight of the cantilever over the choir. Dedication played by Robert Noehren. The organ underwent a full restoration by Casavant Frères, ltée, which was completed in February 2008, including replacement of all leathers, pouches, reworking of collapsing pipe toes, boots, mouths; upgraded SSL (128 levels of 40) and recording possibilities. The instrument is now in excellent condition.
--Identified from church records. Photos by Richard Rasch.
Last Update: 8/2012

GREAT ORGAN (top cantilever)
16 Prinzipal
8 Prinzipal
8 Gedackt
8 Gemshorn
4 Oktav
4 Rohrflöte
2-2/3 Quinte
2 Superoktav
2 Blockflöte
8 Kornett V
1-1/3 Mixtur IV
2/3 Scharf IV
16 Posaune
8 Trompette
4 Klarine
8 Spanische Trompete (Horizontal)

SWELL ORGAN (left chamber)
16 Lieblichgedackt
8 Geigenprinzipal
8 Viol
8 Viol Schwebung
8 Rohrflöte
4 Oktav
4 Spitzflöte
2 Oktavine
2 Mixture IV
1 Scharf IV
16 Trompete
8 Trompete
8 Oboe
8 Vox Humana
4 Klarine

POSITIV (center, lower cantilever)
16 Quintade
8 Prinzipal
8 Gedackt
4 Oktav
4 Koppelflöte
2-2/3 Nazat
2 Italienisch Prinzipal
1-3/5 Terz
1-1/3 Quinteflöte
1 Sifflöte
1 Mixtur IV
1/2 Zimbel IV
8 Krumhorn
4 Trompete
A large stop tab reverses manual position of Positiv and Choir

CHOIR ORGAN (right chamber)
8 Salicional
8 Salicional Schwebung
8 Gedacktflöte
8 Concert Flute
8 Erzähler
8 Erzähler Schwebung
4 Prinzipal
4 Gemshorn
4 Nachthorn
2 Waldflöte
2-2/3 Sesquialtera II
1 Mixtur III
16 Fagott
8 English Horn
4 Rohrschalmei
8 Spanische Trompete (Gt)

PEDAL ORGAN (lower cantilever, split)
32 Untersatz
16 Prinzipal
16 Subbass
16 Quintaton
16 Gemshorn
8 Oktav
8 Gedackt
8 Gemshorn
4 Oktav
4 Rohrpfeife
4 Mixtur III
1-1/3 Scharf IV
32 Kontra Posaune
16 Posaune
16 Rankett
8 Trompete
4 Klarine
4 Oboe
Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis was founded in 1919 by twelve Norwegian-American Lutheran laymen. The present church dates to 1928 and is an excellent example of the then popular neo-Gothic style of architecture. Cruciform in shape with a ceiling height of some 65 feet, the room contains 2500 seats on the nave floor and galleries. The organ was installed in 1963 and is one of several significant instruments of this time designed by Lawrence Phelps. Classic principles of design are seen in the specification, which features complete choruses on each division from the foundation stops through the mixtures. The large spacious interior of Central Church demanded that the Great division be based on a sixteen-foot principal. All of the other manual divisions are based on an eight-foot principal or equivalent. There is no unification and just one transmission. In order to bring the instrument into the room and have it speak on the main axis of the room, the bulk of the instrument and all of the unenclosed divisions were cantilevered from the front wall of the church. Jean-Claude Gauthier, Casavant visual designer at the time, created the visual design. In addition to the use of the instrument in the worship of the church, it is used for recital programs, choral performances and recordings.

In 2007, we undertook the first comprehensive restoration of the instrument, which was thoroughly cleaned and releathered. Damaged pipes were repaired. The façade pipes that could not be repaired were replaced as new with pipes of similar construction. The console was refurbished; the combination system was upgraded, a new solid-state switching system was provided and the console was made MIDI compatible. Tonal re-regulation on site was done by Casavant voicers to recapture the organ's original tone.

Photo from Richard Rasch
Also see Organ Historical Society Archive listing:

Bell tower added in 2006 to original 1928 design.

Vertical beams connecting organ cantilever to underground counterweight can be seen in the photo below as stone columns extending to the ground from the large window (which is lighted and covered by the organ).