“Meet me at the Eagle” was a commonly
used phrase in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, and maybe
even before – but who can remember back that far?
statuesque statue of the bronze eagle sits majestically perched
in the Grand Court
of the John Wanamaker’s Department Store.
Sorry – we refuse to call it Macy’s which it became,
and now Lord & Taylor, which it has become. When you are a
Philadelphian, the Great Grey Lady of Broad Street will always
The floor above it boasts a most magnificent pipe
organ that is still played daily, Monday through Saturday. You
can also see the floors above that, featuring couture shops and
a once-elegant restaurant where doyennes of high society lunched
during a day of shopping. During the holiday season this entire
courtyard is decorated with a huge tree, animatrons and lights.
organ now has 6 keyboards (called “manuals”) and
over 28,000 pipes! “Smoke on the Water” would really
sound great on it, although we do not believe it has ever been
(publicly) performed on it. This incredible instrument and Philadelphia
landmark has been thrilling visitors and shoppers since 1911. It
was built for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by the Los
Angeles Art Organ Company. Construction was on such a lavish scale
that costs soared to $105,000 in 1900 dollars, bankrupting the
John Wanamaker – Philadelphia merchant-prince and
marketer extraordinaire – bought the organ for his new namesake
department store. It was shipped from St. Louis to Philadelphia
in 13 freight cars, and took two years to fully install. It was
first heard on June 22, 1911, and featured again later that year
when President William Howard Taft dedicated the store.
it was first built it had 10,000 pipes which was deemed inadequate
to fill the huge court. Wanamaker opened a private organ factory
in the store attic that employed 40 full-time workers, hired to
enlarge the instrument to its current glory. Ultimately, the total
of pipes grew to today’s 28,000 and the entire organ weighs
287 tons. The tone is said to be flawless.
“Inna Gadda Da Vida”,
Pipe Organ Website and Concert Schedule