North Fulton County

Organ nearly destroyed in 9/11 attacks finds new home in Johns Creek

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — A church organ nearly destroyed during the 9/11 attacks in New York City has been completely restored and has a new home in metro Atlanta.%



Channel 2’s Craig Lucie went to Johns Creek United Methodist Church where the organ already sounds amazing even though they say there’s still more work to do to bring it fully back to life.

“This instrument was put aside and not played. It was put aside, and our work was to restore it and to give this instrument a second life,” said Jacquelin Rochette, of Casavant Freres, a company that restores organs.

The vintage Aeolian-Skinner Opus 408D pipe organ is slowly coming back to life.

With original parts that date back to 1923, the organ has been dubbed "The Sound of Freedom."


Its first home was the historic Trinity Church, located on Wall Street in New York City, three blocks away from where the World Trade Center twin towers stood.

The organ was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks.

“We can all remember where we were when the 9/11 attacks happened. The excitement I have 15 years later about giving this instrument a voice-- I’m very excited about it,” said Nathan Frank, who is the director of worship and music at Johns Creek United Methodist Church.%



Frank showed Lucie pictures of the debris stacked up in front of Trinity Church.

“So much debris came into and infiltrated the pipes. It became inoperable,” said Frank.

The cost to restore the organ was $1.2 million.

The organ is comprised of 5,000 pipes. About 95 percent of them were part of the organ at Trinity Church, and they have been in storage for more than 10 years. Each piece had to be meticulously cleaned.

“We restored all the parts one by one, and there are millions of parts. All of the pipes needed to be cleaned and if they were damaged, they were rebuilt,” said Rochette.

Rochette told Lucie he brought in his team from Canada to voice the organ.

The church hopes to have the organ ready for their Nov. 20 worship service.

In January, they will have a service to officially dedicate the organ and honor the 9/11 first responders.