The day before July 4, bands will likely be rehearsing the national anthem for Independence Day celebrations. But in the Georgetown church where Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star- Spangled Banner,” worshipped, a parade of workers will be busy delivering an exquisite new pipe organ, designed specifically for the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church on O Street.
The July 3 arrival of the new organ, coinciding with holiday traffic and extensive Georgetown street reconstruction, will force a temporary traffic disruptions on Wisconsin Avenue, N Street and Potomac Street to accommodate the tractor-trailer hauling the organ components.
At about 7 a.m., the tractor trailer is expected to enter onto Wisconsin Avenue and turn onto N Street. It will travel up the street and back almost a block to park on Potomac Street NW alongside St. John’s, forcing parking limitations along both routes. Off-loading the organ console with its 2,262 wooden and metal pipes from the 53 foot trailer will take hours.
Every effort to minimize inconveniences to neighbors and businesses will be taken, said Interim Rector Bruce McPherson. “We realize this is going to be one more element of complication in an already challenging parking and traffic situation, but we also believe this organ and the concert series it will inspire will greatly enhance the community’s artistic and musical cultural climate long into the future.”
The new organ will be dedicated Sept. 29 by the Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Washington, D.C. Episcopal Diocese.
Historic St. John’s was founded in 1796, with early donations to the building fund from Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Corcoran. An early vestryman was Francis Scott Key and Dolley Madison was a regular attendee.?