If you haven’t been in the Saugatuck Congregational Church sanctuary for the past few weeks, you’re not the only one.
The historic pews and altar — where, in 1835, the town of Westport was officially formed — are filled with construction equipment.
It’s all good. The church — which spent a few years recovering from a nearly devastating 2011 fire — is in the midst of installing a new pipe organ.
It’s not easy.
A team of 3 men from Orgelbau Klais — one of Germany’s premier organ builders — arrived in early June. The organ — in many pieces — followed soon.
Since then, the crew has installed a tracker system, and associated parts. They added fire protection and lighting. Pipe installation is next.
The organ includes over 2,000 pipes, and 26 ranks. A blower apparatus can be pumped by hand.
The German team is here until at least the end of August. The church unveils the fantastic new instrument on September 8.
When it’s done, the organ will do more than make beautiful music. A Plexiglas window in the back of the console provides an inside view into how it works.
It will be the worth the wait. The organ is expected to last up to 200 years.
Which is the same pretty much how many years ago Westport was founded, in that very same sanctuary.