Groundbreaking for Abbey Woodworking, Organ Building Center
COLLEGEVILLE -- Work is beginning on a brand new Abbey Woodworking facility out in Collegeville.
Director Father Lew Grobe says right now Abbey Woodworking is spread out in seven buildings covering about 15,000 square feet. The new facility will all be under one roof with about 30,000 square feet.
He says work will officially begin later this month.
We're going to have the groundbreaking on July 26th and it will coincide with the demolition. Then for the next week, the demo of the lumber shed will occur. So we'll have the groundbreaking party in the lumber shed to give people a last shot to say goodbye to a building that has been on campus for a long time.
The lumber shed has been on campus for over 100 years. The tradition of the Abbey Woodworking Shop goes back over 160 years.
Some of the finest pipe organs in the world will soon be made right here in central Minnesota. Grobe says Austria native Martin Pasi will be moving his headquarters from Washington state to Collegeville once construction of the facility is done.
Over the past 35 years had produced 30 organs all handcrafted in an old-school tradition where everything is built in-house. The lead sheets are poured from molten lead and even the keys on the keyboard are from cow bone shins.
Pasi will use the new space to help train apprentices to maintain and tune organs.
Abbey Woodworking has been a tradition in Collegeville since its beginning over 160 years ago. They continue to most of the furniture on campus.