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150-year-old organ at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral needs nearly $2M in repairs

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NOLITA, Manhattan — Parishioners have heard the rich sound of the organ at Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral for 150 years, but the organ, in desperate need of repairs, may soon fall silent.

The Henry Erben organ is housed at Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, which first opened its doors in 1815 and is considered the oldest cathedral in New York City. The organ has cracks in some of its wind chests, tears in its original leather and countless mechanical issues and if it doesn’t receive some much needed attention soon, the cathedral could lose its beautiful, melodious sound.

Jared Lamenzo, the church’s organist and director of music, is on a mission to save the majestic piece of history.

"This is a perfect time to renovate this instrument," Lamenzo said.

Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral underwent a major renovation a few years ago, but the organ was left untouched. The cost for a full restoration of the organ will be more than a million dollars. Friends of the Erben Organ is accepting donations for the repairs here.

Lamenzo says he hopes the more people learn about this unique instrument, its sound and charm, the more they will want to help.

Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral is home to 1,500 parishioners. About 36,000 thousand tourists also come through its doors every year.

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