Philosophies of pipe organ preservation: Case studies of three churches in Columbia, South Carolina
This study examines the preservation philosophies employed by three historic churches in Columbia, South Carolina in relation to their pipe organs. Existing scholarship on historic pipe organs focuses on their technical conservation as well as their significance to the history of music and organbuilding. These three case studies demonstrate the need for evaluating historic pipe organs at the local level of significance and within their cultural, architectural, and spiritual context. These contexts are especially important when considering preservation treatment for a pipe organ. Such treatment, as the case studies demonstrate, is inseparable from the preservation issues concerning the church building itself—issues which are in turn bound up in a church‘s identity and religious practice. In addition to providing preservationists with a framework for evaluating pipe organs in their local contexts, this study should serve as a useful resource to congregations that contemplate major repair work or preservation treatment for their own instruments.