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MOUNT VERNON — Over a year since a historic derecho blasted Eastern Iowa and became the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history, Cornell College — like many others — still is cleaning up.
As part of derecho repairs to the campus’ iconic King Memorial Chapel, scheduled to begin in March, crews this week are starting a two-week process of removing all 3,771 pipes from the chapel’s M.P. Moller organ.
The organ, valued at $2.9 million, is the third pipe organ to have been in the chapel, having replaced the previous 1931 Kimball organ, according to a pipe organ database. The current King Chapel organ, according to pipeorganlist.com, arrived on campus via three truck loads in August 1967 and was “ready for use by the end of September.”
While Cornell completes $8 million in repairs to the chapel, the organ pipes will be housed in Champaign, Ill. The cost to remove, store and then return the organ is estimated at nearly $615,000, according to a Cornell spokeswoman Dee Ann Rexroat.