A rose by any other name...
We believe that this organ was built around the turn of the twentieth century by Hutchings-Plaisted, the continuation of the firm founded by George Hutchings in Boston. Superior craftsmanship, generous scales, and a complete specification characterize this grand instrument. Originally, the organ was almost certainly a two-manual instrument with tracker-action.
William Laws was well-known in the Boston area for his considerate electro-pneumatic conversions of dozens of distinguished pipe organs. While a purist would wonder how considerate such an invasive adaptation can be, the fact is that while the enormous popularity of new-fangled electro-pneumatic organ actions led to the destruction of countless venerable nineteenth-century American organs, Mr. Laws was skilled at replacing tracker action with electro-pneumatic pallet pull-downs and slider motors. He built “clones” of Austin consoles to run them, providing his clients with all the modern conveniences of multiple couplers and combination actions without disturbing the structure, windchests, or tonal design of the original organ. Many wonderful instruments are still extant (though lacking their original key actions) because of Laws’ attentions.
The Choir Division perched on top of the Swell Box was added by Laws, as was the 16-8-4 Tuba unit.
Here is a great opportunity to have that special American sound with electric action.