Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Brooklyn, NY
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Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
(Roman Catholic)    

526 59th Street at Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11220
http://www.olphbkny.org




Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1928):
IV/42 Geo. Kilgen & Son, Op. 3496 (1927)
Lower Church (since 1905):
II/16 Konzelman Organs (2002)
• II/ Mann & Trupiano (1970s)
• II/ Charles Maier (c.1893) – moved from old church
First building (1893-1905):
• II/ Charles Maier (c.1893)


Original Church (1905) of Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Brooklyn, NY  
Original church  
The Roman Catholic parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was established by the Redemptorist Fathers in 1893 to serve residents in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn. The territory of the parish was small, just a sliver of land from 54th Street on the North to 60th Street on the South and from Fort Hamilton Parkway on the East to the bay. The Redemptorists had bought an entire city block the previous November at a cost of $40,000. On December 8, 1893, the first parish Masses were celebrated in the wooden rectory, with a congregation of 350 present. A wooden frame church followed as the place of worship.

After several years, plans were made for a larger church. The Lower Church of the new building was opened in 1905. Twenty years later, in 1925, the cornerstone was laid for the Upper Church, and the completed church was opened in 1928. Architect F. Joseph Untersee designed the church, which is Romanesque with a limestone exterior.

On Saturday, November 1, 1969, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church was inaugurated as a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church.
           
  Geo. Kilgen & Son Organ, Op. 3496 (1927) in Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Brooklyn, NY
Geo. Kilgen & Son
St. Louis, Mo. – Opus 3496 (1927)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 71 stops, 42 ranks




The following account of the present organ was published in the December 1927 issue of The Diapason, then the official journal of the American Guild of Organists:

An interesting installation is the four-manual Kilgen organ being erected in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn, New York, at 526 Fifty-ninth Street.  The rector, the Rev. Francis Gallagher, C.S.S.R., is considered one of the leading authorities in the country on organs and church music.  Much time was spent by Father Gallagher and his architect, the late F. Joseph Untersee of Boston, in designing both church and organ chambers.  Consulting with Alfred G. Kilgen, vice-president of the firm of George Kilgen & Son, Inc., and other officers of the company, a four-manual has been designed which will enable this church to take a leading part in the liturgical music of Greater New York.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir
16
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Octave
61
8
  First Open Diapason
61
4
  Forest Flute [ext.]
8
  Second Open Diapason [ext.]
2 2/3
  Flute Quint [ext.]
8
  Third Open Diapason
61
2
  Flute Octaviante [ext.]
8
  Grossflöte
61
8
  Tromba
73
8
  Gambe
61
4
  Clarion [ext.]
8
  Melodia [unit]
85
    Chimes  
8
  Gemshorn
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flute d'Amour [ext.]
8
  Diapason Phonon
73
4
  Violina [ext.]
8
  Small Diapason
73
2
  Flautina [ext.]
8
  Stopped Flute [unit]
85
    Cornet III ranks
183
8
  Claribel Flute
73
16
  Fagotto
85
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
85
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Voix Celeste
73
8
  Oboe [ext.]
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Aeoline
73
4
  Clarion Dolce [ext.]
4
  Prestant
73
    Tremolo  
       
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed with Great

16
  Quintaton
85
4
  Fugara [ext.]
8
  Violone Diapason
73
4
  Flauto Traverso [ext.]
8
  Violoncello
73
2
  Piccolo [ext.]
8
  Concert Flute
85
8
  English Horn
73
8
  Flute Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Quintadena [ext.]
8
  Orchestral Oboe [synth.]
8
  Dulciana
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
   
Harp
49 bars
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed

16
  Contra Tibia [unit]
97
16
  Tuba Profunda
97
8
  Stentophone
73
8
  Tuba Harmonica [ext.]
8
  Gross Gamba
85
8
  Cor Anglais
73
8
  Gamba Celeste [TC]
61
4
  Tuba Clarion [ext.]
8
  Tibia Clausa [ext.]
    Tremolo  
4
  Gambette [ext.]
   
Chimes
25 bells
4
  Tibia [ext.]
       
       
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes

32
  Open Diapason [resultant]
8
  Octave [ext.]
16
  First Open Diapason
44
8
  Bass Flute [ext.]
16
  Second Open Diapason
GT
8
  Cello
SO
16
  Bourdon
44
16
  Tuba Profunda
SO
16
  Violone
32
16
  Bassoon
SW
16
  Tibia
SO
8
  Tromba
GT
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
       
         
Organ in Lower Church:

Konzelman Organs
Maplewood, N.J. (2002)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 32 stops, 16 ranks


In 2002, Konzelman Organs of Maplewood, N.J., was commissioned to move the organ back to the transept. Konzelman provided four new ranks of pipes and modified the existing case.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Principal
61
8
  Trompette
SW
8
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Hautbois
SW
8
  Gedeckt
SW
  Great to Great 16'
8
  Viola
SW
  Great to Great 4'
8
  Viola Celeste [TC]
SW
  Swell to Great 16'
4
  Octave
61
  Swell to Great 8'
2
  Super Octave
61
    Swell to Great 4'  
  Mixture IV ranks
244
   
MIDI
preparation
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedeckt
73
8
  Trompette *
73
8
  Viola *
61
8
  Hautbois [ext. Basson]
8
  Viola Celeste [TC] *
49
4
  Clairon [ext. Trompette]
4
  Principal
73
    Tremulant
4
  Flûte
  Swell to Swell 16'
2
  Octave
  Swell to Swell 4'
 
Plein Jeu IV ranks
preparation
 
MIDI
preparation
16
  Basson *
73
   
       
 
 
* new ranks (2002)
Pedal Organ – 32 notes

32
  Resultant
derived
4
  Choral Bass [ext. 16' Prin.]
16
  Principal
56
16
  Basson
SW
16
  Bourdon
44
8
  Trompette
SW
8
  Principal [ext.]
4
  Hautbois
SW
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
  Great to Pedal 8'
8
  Gedeckt
SW
  Swell to Pedal 8'
8
  Viola
SW
   
MIDI
preparation
         
Organ in Lower Church:

Mann & Trupiano
New York City (1970s)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals


In the 1970s, the old Charles Maier organ was rebuilt by Mann & Trupiano who moved the organ to a central location behind the altar. Mann & Trupiano reused much of the Maier organ but put the pipework on new slider chests. The organ had beautifully diapered facade pipes and a richly ornamented, quartered oak casework below the impost.  

Specifications of this organ have not yet been located..
         
Organ in original wooden church:

Charles Maier
New York City (c.1893)
Mechanical action?
2 manuals


The first organ for Our Lady of Perpetual Help was built by Charles Maier of New York City, and possibly dated from the time the building was opened in 1893. This organ was moved to the Lower Church of the new building and installed in a transept. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     "Among the Catholic Parishes. The New Redemptorist Church To Be Dedicated—Other Notes," The Brooklyn Eagle (Jan. 14, 1893).
     Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help web site: http://www.olphbkny.org
     The Diapason (Dec. 1927). Specifications of Kilgen organ, Op. 3496 (1927). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     Konzelman, James. Stoplist of Konzelman organ (2002).
     "Mystery Worshipper", Ship of Fools web site: http://shipoffools.com/Mystery/2005/948.html
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence (Feb. 10, 2010) regarding Charles Maier organ.

Illustrations:
     eBay.com.: Postcard (1910) of original church.
     Geo. Kilgen & Son Brochure (1953. Interior showing Kilgen Organ, Op. 3496 (1927). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     sunsetpark.com web site. Exterior