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In 1929, Pierre du Pont built the Ballroom to house his new organ and to better insulate the organ pipes from temperature changes. Staff organist Firmin Swinnen drew up specifications for the instrument which was then crafted by Aeolian. The organ is composed of 10,010 pipes divided into 146 ranks, making it one of the largest Aeolian organ ever constructed.
The Longwood Organ is a symphonic instrument, and was designed to play transcriptions of orchestral music. This was a popular form of entertainment in the early twentieth century. Also used to perform works from the organ literature, the instrument is capable of infinite nuance as well as thrilling power. The Longwood Organ was rebuilt between 1958 and 1959, and is currently undergoing restoration that began in 2004 and will be complete in 2011.
Make sure to visit Longwood's organ museum during your visit. View the pipes of the organ, learn more about the history of Longwood's organ, and see how an organ works in this unique museum setting!
With the goal of returning the Longwood Organ to its 1930 splendor, restorers Nelson Barden, Joseph Rotella, Richard Houghton, Jonathan Ambrosino, and their associates re-wired, re-glued, re-painted, re-voiced, and restored virtually every element of the instrument. An unaltered Aeolian organ from the same era was acquired to provide clues as to the original voicing and to supply missing pipes.
A new console by Robert Turner includes the latest computer technology, permitting unparalleled versatility. The console can be floated on a cushion of air anywhere in the Ballroom to plug in to one of four data connectors spaced around the room. The restoration also included climate control for the pipe chambers, mist fire suppression, and the surrounding organ exhibit with glass windows to permit viewing five of the nine pipe chambers.
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
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Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
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Stand before towering fountains, wander shady groves, see fireworks light up the night sky, and enjoy concerts in the most beautiful outdoor settings.
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