The Restoration of Saint Mary's Original 1891 Hutchings Pipe Organ

In 1891, the German Catholic community that was established at St. Mary's in 1845, completed its second and grander church upon the original foundations of the first building. Father Georg Glaab, the founding pastor of the new church, wanted a pipe organ that would signal to all in downtown Washington that the German Catholics has arrived and provide long-lasting support for liturgical music at the parish. While it has been lovingly maintained over the past 130 years, overall disintegration, collapsing pipes, and structural weakening warrant a long-needed restoration.

Project Details

St. Mary's has secured the restoration firm of Hitchcock and Warner to restore the organ and bring it back to its former glory. That firm comes out of the organ building tradition that produced Saint Mary's pipe organ originally and will bring the instrument back to its original condition. The entire instrument must be disassembled, pipes cleaned, ranks rebuilt and shored up, and certain sets of pipes completely restored. In addition to the uniqueness of this 130-year old original instrument, it provides the St. Mary's congregation with enormous musical enrichment for the sacred ceremonies of the Mass.


For the Latin Mass worship alone, it provides an invaluable augmentation to the music provided by the schola of men's singers to create unparalleled Roman Catholic sacred music in the national capital that is available to everyone in Washington, D.C., including those who come to worship at the annual Right to Life March, the yearly liturgy for Blessed Karl of Austria, and the regularly scheduled sung Masses for calendrical Sundays.

Total Grant Needed: $69,000


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