A health check-up ~ September 2016
On January 20th, 2014, the organ curator Martin Setchell visited the organ in the final stages of being wrapped up like a dummy for the months ahead of dusty rebuilding work in the auditorium. As recommended by our organ builders, Rieger, the pipe organ was left on site and is fully protected during the Town Hall restoration project.
On Wednesday September 14, organ curator Martin Setchell was able to inspect the organ for the first time since January 20th, 2014. The photos in the slideshows below tell the story of what we saw; namely that the wood and steel exterior protection put in place in 2014 is working as it should be. There does not appear to be any further structural or major damage to the organ.
"I was relieved and heartened at my last site inspection on Wednesday to see that overall, Rieger organ's pipework appears to be holding up well during the repairs to the Town Hall auditorium," said Martin Setchell.
"It is so encouraging to know that this challenging work is still expected to be completed on time and within budget by 2018. A team from Rieger, the organ builders, is scheduled to return in early 2018 to clean, repair, reinstall, voice, and tune all the pipework, and make good the whole organ mechanism," he said.
"It will be a thrill not only to hear the familiar sounds of the original instrument again, but also the 12 new ranks installed just before the earthquake in 2011."
Senior Project Manager of the Christchurch City Council Major Facilities Rebuild Unit, Patrick Cantillon, says he is very pleased with progress on the Town Hall. "It is accelerating now that we have put the foundations down," he said. The projected date for re-opening is mid-2018. Get your stocks of champagne ordered now.
SLIDESHOW 1: Work around the exterior of the town hall and in the auditorium
Move your mouse over the images to read the caption; move it away to see the picture.
SLIDESHOW 2: Inside the casing built around the organ, and inside the organ
All photos © Jenny Setchell 2016