Portland’s municipal organ is in the news: the nearly 100-year old gem, housed in Merrill Auditorium, needs a major renovation.
Portland’s City Hall burned in 1908. When the new City Hall opened in 1912, the Kotzschmar Organ was its centerpiece. Its story reflects an interesting moment in American culture, and Portland’s own rich musical heritage. While municipal organs were once prevalent in the United States, only two remain. (The other is in San Diego.)
This exhibit on Maine Memory Network explores the life and musical career of Herman Kotzschmar (1829-1908), the longtime Portland organist for whom it is named.
This piece originally appeared in the July 11 edition of “This Week at MHS.”