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Wanamaker Console
These photographs were taken by John DeMajo during a pre-Christmas 2008 visit and also during the June 2009 Macy's Organ Day Celebration.
Thhe Six Manual console which is located on the second floor of the Grand Court just outside of the ladies' shoe department.
Above: View of console insides. The console is so large that there is a standing joke about an organists' lounge being housed inside of it.
Grand Court of the original Wanamaker store. Despite a record bad economy and pending recession, Christmas shoppers abound..
In the photo above, the annual traditional Christmas light show is shown in front of the organ grill. The 26,000+ pipe organ spans from the second to seventh floors of the Grand Court. This instrument is the second largest pipe organ in the world, and it is the largest operating instrument at this time. The Atlantic City Convention Center organ, which is the only instrument to top this one in size, is awaiting restoration by the ACCHOS.
One of several blower rooms. The instrument has a combined blower capacity of over 160 Horsepower.
Comparison of the scale of one of the 32 foot ranks. The pipe in this picture towers more than three stories, or 39 feet above where I am standing. The mouth of the pipe begins to be visible just over the level of my left hand. Some pipes in this organ weigh in at over two tons.
The organ contains several real instrument affects including percussion instruments, cymbals, and even this pneumatically operated piano which is fully playable from the console.
The organ has one of the largest string divisions of any organ ever built. Here is just a small shot of the string section housed in a huge chamber on the store's fourth level. When fully utilized, this section of the organ is approximately equal to two large symphony orchestras combined.
One very small section of the organ's incredible electrical control system. The switching capacity of the relay for this instrument is equivalent to the telephone exchange of a moderate sized city.

IIn addition to the Grand Court Organ, Macy's and the Friends of The Wanamaker Organ, have taken on the task of installing and housing a Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ that was originally willed to the Smithsonian Institution by the late theatre organist Lowell Ayars. After being removed from its original home in a theatre, it resided in Mr. Ayar's home for several years. With additional support from the American Theatre Organ Society, this organ is being restored and installed in one of the Philadelphia landmark store's auditoriums, and it will be available for concerts, film presentations, and recitals by students at the area music schools.


The neighborhood surrounding the John Wanamaker building is a cross-sample of American and Victorian architecture. Shown above is the Philadelphia City Hall, and the pride of the Nation, Independence Hall is shown below.