The John and Mable Ringling Mansion Organ at Ca’d’Zan

The John and Mable Ringling Mansion Organ at Ca’d’Zan Sarasota, Florida
Project 55 Aeolian Organ Co. - Opus 1559

We are pleased to announce that we’ve been chosen to restore the historic Aeolian organ located in the John and Mable Ringling Ca’d’Zan mansion, Sarasota, FL. This 36,000 square foot winter home was completed in 1925 and included detailed plans for one of Aeolian’s three manual instruments. The Ringlings were known for their elaborate dinner parties where guests from New York, Boston and Tampa came to be entertained. The restoration will focus on the historic nature of the instrument. The process will include careful disassembly, cataloging, cleaning and restoration of the instrument; and while the goal is to return the instrument in its original condition as closely as possible, components which have been irreversibly damaged or cannot be strictly restored, will be upgraded to adhere to current electrical codes and to align with the current mission of The Ringling. Music is integral to both the Ringling Mansion, Museum and Archives and the organ will have a pivotal role going forward in The Ringling’s vision to educate, inspire and entertain the public. While the appearance of the organ chambers and console will be historically maintained, we understand that including 21st century functionality is vital to demonstrating the organ and its music on a daily basis. The console’s mechanical and electro-pneumatic paper roll system will be restored allowing the Residence to automatically play the instrument in the manner that John and Mable would have used. In addition, plans include installing a new Barden Roll-player system that enables the digital playing of any of Aeolian’s available rolls. A new solid-state controller and combination preset system will ensure reliability and allow will further allow the Residence to record and playback guest performances on the organ. Once restored, The Ringling can once again share the music this instrument creates with the community. Plans include organ concerts, community events and a variety of musical performances. The instrument is expected to be heard once again in late 2024. Parsons is extremely grateful to the Ca’d’Zan, Florida State University, and especially Frederick R. Haas of the Wyncote Foundation for entrusting us with this wonderful opportunity.
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