1117 3rd St NW, Grand Rapids, MI
For sale: $129,900
Bill Tufts lived in this house his whole life, so it's fitting that he fulfilled his lifelong dream within its walls.
The auto mechanic and music lover, who passed away recently at age 72, added on to this home to accommodate a wind-powered, 2,300-pipe organ. Tufts did not play, but he loved to host small concerts in his living room, inviting friends to sit with him and listen to guest organists fill his 1,300-square-foot house with a joyful noise.
Tufts always enjoyed the organ, traveling often to hear performances, said real estate agent Mark Douglas, who is selling the home on behalf of Tufts' estate. As Tufts learned about the instrument, he befriended installers and found a 1929 Kimball for sale at a church in Muskegon, Michigan. He had to buy additional property and get a permit to add on a section to his house for the console, baffles and pipes.
"When people are driven to do something that's special to them, there's no limit," Douglas said. "They'll go to the ends of the earth."
Over the years, Tufts added more and more pipes to his organ. Whenever he could, he invited a guest organist to come play for him. "That's how he got his entertainment," Douglas said.
The organ takes up more than a third of Tufts' house, which his parents owned before he bought it. It is well-maintained on a street of modest houses and has one bedroom, two bathrooms and a tidy patio in the back.