Pipe Organ Restoration Woodshop Hit by Fire

A fire destroyed the main woodshop of J. Allen Farmer, Inc. on March 12. No one was injured. The Winston-Salem, NC, firm specializes in rebuilding pipe organs, and had just delivered its most recent commission - an 1898, 3 manual, 40 stop Hook and Hastings instrument for St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem, NC.

"In the early morning of March 12, we  lost the main building of our workshop to a devastating fire," John Farmer said. "Fortunately no one was injured." Farmer said he has received an outpouring of support from colleagues and clients. Farmer says he is determined "to recover as quickly as possible and move on to the business of pipe organ rebuilding." The workshop was a handsome post and beam style building in the woodlands of the Piedmont, Farmer says.

Established in 1980 by John Farmer, the firm has been serving the musical needs of churches and schools in the southeastern United States for over three decades.

A few of its more well known organ projects include the relocation and restoration of the 1916 E. M. Skinner in the Great Banquet Hall at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC; the restoration of the oldest pipe organ in South Carolina, circa 1830, for Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church; a new all mechanical instrument in Memorial Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro NC; and more recently, the rebuilding of the historic 4 manual Austin console for Centenary United Methodist Church, Winston-Salem, NC.


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