Campaign to Restore the 1804 Tannenberg Organ

The last organ built by David Tannenberg is in need of significant restoration work.  Help us as we embark on this ambitious project to raise $250,000 for the restoration and to build an endowment for future work on this magnificent instrument.

History of the Tannenberg

Built by David Tannenberg, a prominent organ builder of the 18th century in south central Pennsylvania, the organ was originally constructed in 1804 for York’s Christ Lutheran Church. It was the last organ built by Tannenberg, as he suffered a stroke during the installation and died two days later. The organ was first played at Tannenberg’s funeral and continues to be played more than 200 years later for the History Center’s Summer Concert series and special events.

Of the 42 organs known to have been built by Tannenberg only nine exist today. The York County History Center is kicking off a campaign to raise $250,000 to repair and restore the historic 1804 David Tannenberg organ in preparation for its move to the new History Center. Your support is needed to ensure the legacy of Tannenberg’s work remains for generations to come.


Some of the work to be completed includes:

  •             Removal of the organ from the museum, packing and transportation
  •             Replicate a new 2-rank windchest and 25 note pedalboard in the original style
  •             Pedal Pipe restoration
  •             Repair and adjust the Manual keyboard replicating parts from an 1802 Tannenberg organ
  •             Repair and paint cracked case panels and restore pipe shade carvings
  •             Replace the bench with appropriate style bench
  •             Increase winding capacity
  •             Remove all pipes for cleaning
  •             Replace leather on tuning stoppers of wood pipes
  •             Restore metal pipes
  •             Regulate all pipe voices, setting the temperament and tuning the organ
  •             Installing the organ at the new York County History Center

How You Can Help

The York County History Center invites you to help us restore this special instrument.  Make a gift to the History Center’s Tannenberg Organ Restoration Fund.  You can download and mail the Tannenberg Donation Form or contribute online (through our upcoming #GivingTuesday GoFundMe page)!  OR consider a legacy gift of a planned future donation to the Tannenberg Organ Fund, given through a will or other form of designation to the York County History Center.  Every legacy gift, regardless of the amount, is important and cherished.  Contact Terri Altland, Director of Development to answer any questions about this unique funding opportunity or to discuss your options for creating a legacy gift for the Tannenberg.