The Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
  Click on images to enlarge
The Baptist Temple
(originally First Baptist Church of Brooklyn)

360 Schermerhorn Street at Third Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217
http://www.rhowbk.org

Organ Specifications:
360 Schermerhorn Street at 3rd Avenue (since 1895)
IV/38 J.W. Steere & Son, Op. 700 (1918)
III/41 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 188 (1895)
Pierrepont and Clinton Streets (1878-1891)
II/31 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 188 (1881)
Nassau and Liberty Streets (1835-1873)
• II/28 Ferris & Stuart (1854)
• Holbrook & Ware (1837)
Pearl Street between Nassau and Concord (1826-1834)
• Henry Erben (1827)

The present Baptist Temple sanctuary (1918) has been host to many famous preachers, and contains windows made by Colonial Art Glass of Brooklyn from sketches by Corwyn Knapp Linson. Edward Morris Bowman, a founder of the American Guild of Organists, established the largest volunteer choir in turn-of-the century America, of which Alexandre Guilmant was an honorary member.

On the evening of July 7, 2010, a devastating three-alarm fire caused serious damage to the church interior and organ.
             
 
J.W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918) in Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
J. W. Steere & Son
Springfield, Mass. – Opus 700 (1918)
Electro-pneumatic action
Pitch: A=435 at 68°F
4 manuals, 49 stops, 38 ranks, 2,553 pipes








Following the March 1917 fire that destroyed the Baptist Temple and its Odell organ, the church contracted with J.W. Steere & Son of Springfield, Mass., to build a new organ at a cost of $17,000 for the rebuilt church. The Steere organ is installed in two chambers in the front corners of the auditorium, while the Echo division is located in a large room in a rear corner of the church. The Baptist Temple organ is one of only two four-manual instruments by Steere still in its original condition.

The Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Baptist Temple)  
   
In the years following World War II, downtown Brooklyn began to decline, the congregation dwindled, and the organ fell into disrepair. Ongoing restorative repairs were begun in 1987 by organ curator Keith Bigger, who is a member of the Organ Historical Society (OHS), with assistance from organbuilders Allen Dreyfuss, John Klauder, and Larry Trupiano of Mann & Trupiano.

On September 18, 1993, following a recital by Michael Kaminski, the Organ Historical Society awarded its distinguished Historical Citation No. 137 in recognition of the J. W. Steere & Son Organ as an outstanding example of organbuilding and worthy of preservation.

In recent years, the organ has not been used in services; however, it has been featured in the accompaniment of silent films in programs produced by the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Sadly, this historic Steere organ was partially destroyed by fire on July 7, 2010.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir (10" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon *
PED
4
  Octave
61
8
  First Diapason *
61
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
8
  Second Diapason *
61
8
  Tuba
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
  Chimes
EC
8
  Great Flute
61
       
8
  Gedeckt
61
   
* 6" wind, unenclosed with Pedal
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flute Traverso (harmonic)
73
8
  Diapason
73
2
  Flautino
61
8
  Salicional
73
16
  Posaune
73
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Cornopean (harmonic)
73
8
  Vox Angelica [TC]
61
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Vox Celeste
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Gedackt
73
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" wind pressure)
16
  Gamba
73
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
8
  Diapason
73
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Dulciana
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe
61
8
  Concert Flute
73
   
Harp [TC] (Mayland)
49 bars
8
  Flute Celeste [TC]
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Quintadena
73
       
               
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed (10" wind pressure)
8
  Stentorphone
73
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Muted Viole
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Viole Celeste
73
 
 
Chimes (Deagan)
20 tubes
8
  Fern Flute
73
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
16
  Posaune
SW
16
  Diapason
44
8
  Flute [Bourdon]
16
  Bourdon
61
8
  Octave [Diapason]
16
  Gedeckt
SW
8
  Violoncello
CH
16
  Gamba
CH
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 4', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Echo to Choir 8'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Great to Great 4'
    Echo to Pedal 8'   Swell to Swell 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir to Choir 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Echo to Echo 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Echo to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
Divisional pistons are adjustable on setterboards located in drawers under the keydesk; full organ pistons are adjustable on setterboards located in the Swell chamber.
     
   
Echo & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-0 (thumb) Pedal Combs. On/Off
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-0 (thumb) Pedal Combs. On/Off
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb) Pedal Combs. On/Off
Choir & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb) Pedal Combs. On/Off
Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (toe)  
Entire Organ + Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb) (blind, not moving registers)
       
+ with indicator lights under coupler rail
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Choir & Great Pedal   Register Crescendo Pedal
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Sforzando Reversible
    Balanced Echo Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
               
Accessories
    Wind Indicator      
    Crescendo Indicator      
    Sforzando Indicator      
               
J.W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918) in Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
J.W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918) in Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
     
J.W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918) in Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
J.W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918) in Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Setterboard drawers
 
Setterboard drawer
             
  J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ, Op. 181 (1895) in The Baptist Temple - Brooklyn, N.Y.
   
  1908 Postcard of The Baptist Temple Choir - Brooklyn, N.Y.
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 188 (1895)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 37 stops, 41 ranks








The Odell firm was contracted in February 1895 to enlarge and move the 1881 Odell organ from the Pierrepont Street church to the new Baptist Temple. On March 7, 1917, the church and organ were destroyed by fire.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Gamba
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Dulce
58
  Sesquialtra [sic] 3 ranks
174
8
  Melodia (st. bass)
58
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
8
  Trumpet (harmonic treble)
58
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
  Mixture 3 ranks
174
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Cornopean (harmonic treble)
58
8
  Clarionet-Flute
58
8
  Oboe
58
4
  Violina
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
4
  Flauto traverso
58
  Tremulant  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Fugara
58
8
  Keraulophone
58
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
8
  Dulce
58
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
58
8
  Grosse Flote
58
8
  Clarinet
58

 

     

 

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Grand Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Grand Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
10 2/3
  Quint
30
  Snare Drum  
8
  Bass Flute
30
       
               
Mechanical Stops
    Swell to Great     Reversible Swell to Great
    Choir to Great     Reversible Great to Pedal (foot-pedal)
    Swell to Choir     Bellows Signal
    Great to Pedal     Wind Indicator
    Swell to Pedal     Balanced Swell Pedal
    Choir to Pedal          
               
Odell Patent Pneumatic Compositions
    8 Pneumatic Compositions on Great Organ      
    8 Pneumatic Compositions on Swell Organ      
               
Pedal Movements
    Piano on Pedal Organ          
    Forte on Pedal Organ          
             
  J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ, Op. 181 (1881) in First Baptist Church in Pierrepont Street - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Organ Historical Society)
Organ in previous building on Pierrepont Street:

J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 188 (1881)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 27 stops, 31 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Grand Open Diapason
58
3
  Twelfth
58
8
  German Gamba
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Dulce
58
  Sesquialtera 3 ranks
174
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Bell Clarionet (orchestral)
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
8
  Trumpet (harmonic treble)
58
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Flageolet
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
  Cornet 3 ranks
174
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Clarionet Flute
58
8
  Oboe (orchestral)
58
4
  Violina
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
4
  Flauto traverso
58
  Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Grand Diapason
30
16
  Trombone
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Kettledrum for Orchestral Purposes
8
  Violoncello
30
     
               
Pneumatic Composition Pedals
    Forte to Great       Forte to Swell  
    Mezzo to Great       Mezzo to Swell
    Piano to Great       Piano to Swell  
            Balanced Swell Pedal  
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great   Swell to Pedal  
    Great to Pedal   Bellows Signal  
             
Organ in previous church at Nassau and Liberty Streets:

Ferris & Stuart
New York City (1854)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 28 stops


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Organ in previous church at Nassau and Liberty Streets:

Holbrook & Ware
Medway, Mass. (1837)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Organ in previous church on Pearl Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1827)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Sources:
     Bigger, Keith. Specifications of J. W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918).
     Hall, Jonathan B. "A Reservoir of Inspiration: The Brooklyn Baptist Temple and its Pipe Organs," The Tracker, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Oct. 2003).
     Kramer, George W. The What How and Why of Church Building. New York: Geo. W. Kramer, F.A.I.A., 1897.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Organ Historical Society web site: http://www.organsociety.org

Illustrations:
     Bigger, Keith. Undated postcard church interior.
     The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.
     Kramer, George W. Interior (1897) showing J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ, Op. 188 (1895).
     Lawson, Steven E. Interior; J. W. Steere & Son organ, Op. 700 (1918).
     Lewis, James. Postcard (1908) of The Baptist Temple Choir.