Surprisingly enough, the world’s largest organ isn’t located in a cathedral or a church, but in the center of Macy’s Center City Store, in Philadelphia.
The Wanamaker Grand Court Pipe Organ is the largest playable pipe organ in the world. Its console alone weighs 2.5 tons and the entire installation weighs 287 tons. It was bought by John Wanamaker in 1909 and installed in his store, but, unsatisfied with its size, the owner built an organ factory in the store’s attic, in order to enlarge the Grand Court Pipe Organ.
The Wanamaker Pipe Organ was played in 1911 for the first time and has been entertaining Philadelphia shoppers 2 times a day, Monday to Saturday and even more often during winter holidays.
This giant organ has 28, 482 pipes. 6 manual keyboards, 42 foot pedals and is able to deliver incredible sound power. The organist, Peter Richard Conte has 729 color-coded buttons to choose from, just when he wants a different rank of pipes to be played.
Photos by REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES SOCIETY BUSINESS ENTERTAINMENT)