CBS News: The fight to save New York’s historic Erben Organ

In New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, inside a church known as St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, stands a pipe organ taller than a goal post on a football field.

“When you go behind the case and look into the forest of nearly 2,500 pipes and runs of trackers, it is like walking into a 19th-century pneumatic computer,” gushes the church’s music director of 15 years, Jared Lamenzo. “Some past vision of the future.”

Today, the Erben Organ is the only large, mid-19th-century pipe organ left in America that’s intact in its original acoustic space. And Lamenzo believes it is one of the most important historic instruments in the nation. “Sound is intangible,” explains Lamenzo. “It gets inside you and makes you feel something. And beyond the actual visual and mechanical aspects [of the organ], that’s what people are affected by. One woman said she ‘practically levitated’ when she heard the organ for the first time.” Read Article