1901 view of Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church - Brooklyn, New York
  Click on image to enlarge
Bethesda Memorial Baptist Church

49 Cornelia Street, corner Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11221



The Bethesda Memorial Baptist Church occupies the edifice built from 1894-96 for the Bushwick Avenue Congregational Church, a society organized in 1887. Located on the northwest corner of Bushwick Avenue and Cornelia Street, the church was designed by the Parfitt Brothers in an inventive late-Romantic style, and features a slender, octagonal campanile surmounted by an open belfry. When built, the square auditorium provided accomodations for 750, and was naturally lighted by a clerestory of round arches. The interior trimmings were of oak, and the finish was in brown and amber shades.

At an unknown date, the building was acquired by the Bethesda Memorial Baptist Church. On December 20, 1997, the church sanctuary was gutted by a devastating fire that destroyed the interior. The church has since been rebuilt.
             
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 355 (1898)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 11 stops, 11 ranks


This two-manual mechanical action organ was built by the J.H. & C.S. Odell Company in 1898. Sometime in the 1960s, the organ was electrified. This organ was probably ruined or destroyed by the fire of December 20, 1997.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
61
8
  Melodia
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Salicional
61
4
  Rohr Flöte
61
8
  Dolce [1-12 grooved to St.Diap.]
49
8
  Oboe and Bassoon [split knob]
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
30
     
             
Sources:
     "A New Brooklyn Church," The New York Times, March 4, 1896.
     "Dedicating a New Chapel," The New York Times, December 12, 1887.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Ojito, Mirta. "Gutted Church in Brooklyn Will Be Rebuilt, Pastor Says," The New York Times, December 21, 1997.
     "Ready for Occupancy" The New York Times, December 11, 1887.
     Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York City: The Monacelli Press, 1999.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ, Op. 355 (1898).

Photos:
     Church Building Quarterly, pub. by Congregational Church Building Society, 1901: exterior.