You are hereThe story of our Great Cathedral Pipe Organs

The story of our Great Cathedral Pipe Organs


See below for behind-the-scenes photos, videos and how you can help keep the organ tuned.

We are very proud of our recently refurbished and enhanced pipe organs.
The Cathedral of Saint Paul possesses two historic pipe organs considered American classics, by E. M. Skinner, Æolian-Skinner, and Quimby Pipe Organs. The restored E. M Skinner of 1927, is located in chambers in the ambulatory behind the sanctuary bronze grille.
The pipe organ in the choir gallery, beneath the East Rose window, originates as an Æolian-Skinner from1963, with additions in 2013 that include the magnificent new case, and 1000 pipes in a new Bombarde division.
Over the past three years, all the original pipes were removed, cleaned and refurbished. 

A few of the standout features include:

  • The Pontifical Trompette stop has 61 pipes and is the most commanding stop in the instrument – meant to announce the Pope, as the name implies, but is also used for other occasions. It uses so much wind, it has its own blower for a steady supply of air.
  • The Bombarde division reeds create sounds that are spine tingling!
  • The English Horn stop with its 49 pipes can create music that tugs at your heart strings.
  • And, the largest pipe of the 32-foot Bombarde in the pedal, is actually a pipe 32 feet long.

Another unique feature of our Great Cathedral Pipe Organs is that we have two identical consoles, which control either or both of the organs simultaneously. The organs can be played independently or together from either of the consoles, by either one or two players at the same time. Only one other music venue in the U.S. has this feature and that is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Photo Diary (2009-2013)

 Video Diary

Pitch in for pipe maintenance