First City Methodist Church
Builder: Skinner Organ Company Year: 1926 Opus: 611
No. manuals: 4 No. stops: 60 No. ranks: 45 No. pipes: 3,019 GREAT ORGAN SOLO ORGAN
Photo Source: Larry Klug
Notes: The $650,000 facility was completed in 1925; half of the cost was given by United States Steel. Elbert Gary, the city's namesake, donated the organ. The nave had seating for 950 and, during the congregation's heyday, there were nearly 3,000 members. By 1973, that number had dwindled to 300. The congregation left the building in 1975, and it was used briefly by another congregation. The building was abandoned in the early 1980's and ravaged by vandalism over the ensuing years. A fire in 1997 did considerable damage to the nave, basically just leaving the walls and some ceiling. The building still stands, but just barely. Preservationists are trying to have the building rebuilt and used for civic purposes.
Not long before the second congregation gave up the building, the organ went to a residence in Lansing, Illinois. While an addition was being made to the home and the organ installed, the home burned and most of Op. 611 went with it. The console went through the floor into the basement.
Organ Historical Society Database: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=10751