2/8 Wurlitzer - Sands Point Preserve - Hempstead House
Wurlitzer Opus 442 was originally installed in Shea's "Belview" (later "Rapids") theatre in Niagara Falls, NY, in 1921. The instrument, a style 185, 2/7, was modified by Wurlitzer to incorporate a Tibia Clausa, not normally found on this style instrument. Like it's big sister, the style 285 Wurlitzer in nearby Shea's Buffalo, the Shea's Belview Wurlitzer was equipped with a 25 cycle current blower. Much of the Niagra Falls area current in the early part of the century utilized this rather non-conventional power standard.
The organ was removed from the theatre about 1972 by a private party for installation in a residence. After that, it was acquired by Mr. Ian McKenzie of St. James, Long Island, for installation in his home. In the late 1980's, the organ was donated to Nassau County Department of Parks and Recreation, for installation in Hempstead House at the Sands Point Preserve. The organ has remained intact and original all of it's life, and will be maintained that way as a demonstration of the engineering technology and sound that made the Wurlitzer name world famous. Installation of the organ is now complete, and the current crew members, John Karpus, Tom Lloyd, Alan Lush, and Tom Stehle are now working on tonal finishing and restoration of the combination action.