Nationally recognized for its landmark building, the Fox Theatre and Fox Theatre Institute’s stewardship also extends to its 1929 Moller Organ, lovingly known as “Mighty Mo.” The organ was custom built at the M.P. Moller Organ factory in Maryland and was the second-largest theater organ in the world, featuring 3,634 pipes and 415 stops. By 2017, the near 90-year-old Mighty Mo console was breaking down and required preservation and restoration. The A. E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Co. was identified in nearby Lithonia, Georgia to do the project. A temporary console was designed to look “Fox-appropriate” while Mo was absent, which allowed for the organ music to continue during performances at the Fox. For one year, the team worked through the painstaking process of scraping through 12 layers of paint; repairing innumerable chips and scratches in the wood finish; processing dozens of paint samples; and restoring and maintaining distinctive features as part of the digital relay system. The Fox’s ongoing commitment to preservation has guaranteed Mighty Mo’s future enjoyment by Fox patrons for decades to come.
Awards for Excellence in Preservation recognize the appropriate preservation of historic resources and creative interpretations of historic sites.