Groundbreaking Ceremony Set for July in Lake City

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled on July 5th in Lake City for a new facility at the site where the Dobson Pipe Organ Shop burned to the ground two years ago.

John Panning has been with the company since 1984 and took over as president in early 2020.

Dobson Pipe Organ Builders installs organs throughout the country and around the world. Panning says it might have been easier to relocate to a more urban area after the fire, but he made the decision to stay in northwest Iowa.

The building was not the only thing destroyed by the fire two years ago. About 20% of Dobson’s 99th organ was in the shop when it burned, so crews in Lake City started all over on the instrument, which will be installed in St. James Church in Sydney, Australia.

Dobson’s 100th pipe organ will be installed in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, for the school’s centennial celebration in 2024.