South Congregational Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (undated Brooklyn Eagle Photo from Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)
South Congregational Church

Corner Court and President Streets
Brooklyn, N.Y. 10231


Organ Specifications:
III/57 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Op. 906
III/57 George S. Hutchings, Op. 446 (1898)
• II/27 E. & G.G. Hook, Op. 217 (1857)






The South Congregational Church was established in 1851 in a sparsely settled Scandinavian enclave of South Brooklyn. A chapel was built in 1851, and the brick Early Romanesque Revival church was completed in 1857. As the area developed and became known as Carroll Gardens, the church added a ladies' parlor in 1889, followed by the neo-Gothic rectory in 1893. By the 1940s, the church was thriving and numbered 2400 members, but in the years following World War II, members moved away and dropped to fewer than 100. The congregation now meets in the former parlor, and the church and chapel have been converted into condominiums. The South Congregational Church Complex was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1982.
               
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 906 (1933)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 51 stops, 58 ranks


On March 28, 1933, a contract was signed with the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company to rebuild and reconstruct the 1898 George S. Hutchings organ. Aeolian-Skinner provided a new standard drawknob console, of oak with a walnut trimmed interior, that also contained the combination action. All pipes were cleaned and reconditioned, and metal slide tuners were installed on all flue pipes previously tuned with rolls. Many stops were revoiced at the church or in the factory, and all reed pipes were fitted with new tongues. In the Swell division, the 4' Violina was replaced with a 4' Octave, and the Cornet (5 ranks) was changed to a Chorus Mixture. Two new stops were added to the Choir division: the Geigen Principal was replaced with an English Horn, and the Quintadena was replaced with a 49-note Unda Maris. A new 16' Lieblich Gedeckt was added to the Pedal, and all of the Pedal stops were extended with the addition of two new pipes. Reservoirs were releathered as necessary, and the coils of the chest primary magnets were replaced with high resistance single coils. Although the contract suggests the rebuilding of the existing swell motors (which were not original), a handwritten note penciled in by Ernest M. Skinner advised that new swell motors be installed. The church followed Skinner's recommendation and Aeolian-Skinner swell engines were installed: 16 stages to the Swell, 8 stages to the Great/Choir. Total cost of the rebuilding was $6,970.

When the church was closed, the organ was sold to the Youngstown (Ohio) Symphony. An Ohio-based firm removed the organ to storage, but it was ultimately discarded. The console survived and was sold to the Second Church of Christ, Scientist in Hartford, Conn., where it was to be rebuilt and connected to that church's III/44 Skinner Organ, Op. 793 (1929). The Hartford church was later sold to the State of Connecticut, and in 2008, the organ (and possibly the Op. 906 console) was put in storage by Foley-Baker prior to restoration and eventual installation in Appleton Chapel, Harvard University.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir except as noted
16
  Diapason *
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  First Diapason *
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Second Diapason *
61
    Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Harmonic Flute *
61
16
  Trumpet
61
4
  Octave *
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
4
  Clarion
61
8
  Gamba
61
   
Chimes
20 bells
8
  Viola
61
    Blank knob  
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
   
* unenclosed
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
    Chorus Mixture V ranks
305
8
  Diapason
61
16
  Fagotto
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Voix Celeste
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Aeoline
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Spitzflöte
61
8
 
Harp
61 bars
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
4
  Celesta  
4
  Octave
61
    Blank knob  
2
  Flageolet
61
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Gamba
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
8
  English Horn **
61
8
  Dulciana
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Unda Maris [TC] **
49
    Harp
SW
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
    Celesta
SW
4
  Fugara
61
    Blank knob  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Bourdon
32
8
  Octave
32
16
  Diapason
32
8
  Gedeckt
32
16
  Violone
32
8
  Cello
32
16
  Bourdon
32
16
  Trombone
32
16
  Dulciana
32
    Chimes
GT
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt **
32
    Blank knob  
10 2/3
  Quinte
32
       
           
** new stops added
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Swell 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir to Choir 16', 4'
               
Combinations
    Great Organ Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
    Swell Organ Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
    Choir Organ Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8
    Pedal Organ Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6
    Generals Pistons No. 1-2-3-4
    General Cancel  
               
Mechanicals
    Swell Expression   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Choir Expression   Sforzando [pedal & piston]
    Crescendo Pedal    
               
George S. Hutchings
Boston, Mass. – Opus 446 (1898)
Electro-pneumatic and tubular action
3 manuals, 50 stops, 57 ranks


The second organ in South Congregational Church was built in 1898 by George S. Hutchings of Boston. Hutchings constructed the entire lower portion of the case with black walnut, matching the church pews. The following specifications were recorded (May 21, 1920) by the Louis F. Mohr Co., a longtime organ service firm in the area. Mohr noted that the organ had "Elec. action - part tubular."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir except as noted
16
  Diapason *
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
8
  First Diapason *
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Second Diapason *
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Harmonic Flute *
61
    Mixture IV ranks
244
4
  Octave *
61
16
  Trumpet
61
8
  Doppelflote
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Gamba
61
4
  Clarion
61
8
  Viola
61
    * unenclosed  
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
8
  Diapason
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
    Cornet V ranks
305
8
  Salicional
61
16
  Fagotto
61
8
  Voix Celeste
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Spitzflote
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Violina
61
    Tremolo  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Gamba
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Diapason
61
4
  Fugara
61
8
  Geigen Principal
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Dolcissimo
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Quintadena
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
32
  Bourdon
30
10 2/3
  Quinte
30
16
  Diapason
30
8
  Octave
30
16
  Violone
30
8
  Gedeckt
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Cello
30
16
  Dulciana
30
16
  Trombone
30
               
Couplers
    Pedal at Octave   Choir to Great 16'
    Swell Off 8'   Choir to Great 8'
    Swell to Swell 16'   Choir to Pedal
    Swell to Swell 4'   Great to Great 16'
    Swell to Choir 8'   Great to Great 4'
    Swell to Great 8'   Great to Swell 8'
    Swell to Pedal   Great to Pedal
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 + 0
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 + 0 + 00
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 + 0
               
Pedal Movements
    Swell Piano   Pedal Cancel
    Swell Mezzo-forte   Swell to Pedal Reversible
    Swell Forte   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Choir Piano   Full Organ
    Choir Forte    
    Great Piano   Balanced Great & Choir Pedal
    Great Mezzo-forte   Balanced Swell Pedal
    Great Forte   Crescendo Pedal
               
E. & G.G. Hook
Boston, Mass. – Opus 217 (1857)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 17 registers


The original organ for the South Congregational Church was built in 1857 by E. & G. G. Hook of Boston. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolianskinner.organsociety.org/.
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks (Third Edition). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List (New Revised Edition). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Mohr, Louis F. Co. Specifications (May 21, 1920) of George S. Hutchings organ, Op. 446 (1898). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Contract of Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 906 (1933).
     Van Pelt, William T., comp. The Hook Opus List, 1829-1916 in Facsimile. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1991.

Illustration:
     Brooklyn Eagle Photo from Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection