Kotzschmar Organ 

Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland  |  2014 Preservation Award Winner

The Issue

Named after Herman Kotzschmar, a German immigrant who became a leading musical performer in early 20th century Portland, the organ was installed in City Hall Auditorium in 1912 as a gift from Cyrus Curtis. The organ was enlarged in 1927 and now includes nearly 7,000 pipes. It is one of two municipal organs left in the United States.  In 2012 the hundred year-old 50-ton instrument was in need of repair, the wind chest was leaking air and valves needed to be restored or replaced.

Our Position

In a private/public partnership the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ raised $1.25 million for the project and the City contributed an additional $1.25 million raised through a $2/ticket surcharge for Merrill Auditorium events. The project restores an iconic symbol of Portland’s artistic history to be enjoyed for future generations.

Greater Portland Landmarks awarded the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ and the City of Portland a 2014 Preservation Honor Award to celebrate their herculean effort to preserve this unique element of Portland’s municipal and musical heritage.

2014 Preservation Award Winner!

Project Team:
Foley-Baker, Inc., Organ Builders
Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, Project Manager
City of Portland, Owner and Financial Partner

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What you Can Do

  • Attend a concert of the Kotzschmar Organ!
  • Support the advocacy efforts of Greater Portland Landmarks