If you're in the market for real estate, or even if you're not, the Internet is full of articles with headlines like "What X amount of dollars buys you in Y city." Well, in Grand Rapids, Michigan $129,900 buys you a cozy one-bedroom home with a nice kitchen, hardwood floors, and oh yeah, a functioning 2,300-pipe organ with a three-manual console.
UPDATE: When first posted this story on October 30, 2014. The news intrigued us so that we knew we had to get someone over there to check it out. Michigan resident and rising Hammond B-3 organ star Jim Alfredson kindly obliged, and the whole thing is indeed legit. The organ was originally installed by the former owner of the home, Bill Tufts. Mr. Tufts was an auto mechanic who was not a player himself, but invited organists over to give house concerts and entertain friends and neighbors. It's a 1929 Kimball, and the console sits just outside the kitchen in a sort of small dining area, while pipes run from floor to ceiling in the spare bedrooms.
The organ plays and is in fact in very good condition. Jim got some hands-on time and a video tour of the house. Scroll past the video for more of the original story, and if you appreciate Jim's efforts here, drop by his PledgeMusic page to pick up a copy of his new prog project, THEO.
As a kid who was impressed by the pipe organs in churches, I quite literally used to have dreams about this sort of thing: some gargantuan instrument residing in an incongruous and improbable space. It's like this was pulled directly out of my subconscious. The photo above is of just some of the pipe ranks. Here's the console:
Though it would take a very special person to buy this house and want to live with the existing utilization of space, it would also be a supreme shame if this unique and gorgeous instrument were trashed. Especially when there are doubtless several theaters, schools, and preservation societies who'd likely be glad to come and take it.
Here's the original listing, where you can see many more photos, and find the contact info for the listing agent, Mark Douglas. If you buy this place and leave the organ intact, I will personally come interview you and take you to dinner. If you're an individual or organization that could give the organ a new home if the new owner doesn't want it, please let the realtor (and us) know. Musical treasures like this should be preserved.