St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, NY
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St. Mary Episcopal Church

230 Classon Avenue corner Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11205


Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1859)
IV/35 M.P. Möller, Op. 2339 (1917)
III/36 Reuben Midmer & Sons (1870)
• William H. Davis (1859)
I/7 L.C. Harrison & Co. (1890) – Parish Hall
First building (1837-1859)
• unknown



St. Mary’s Protestant Episcopal Church was begun on Classon avenue at the Wallabout, by the Rev. D. V. M. Johnson, while in charge of Trinity church. A Sunday school was established in March, 1836, and formed the nucleus of a church. Here the Rev. Mr. Johnson held services on Sunday afternoons for about six months. In May, 1837, Mr. Joseph Hunter took charge of the school, and served as a lay-reader to a small congregation which assembled with the children. During the year an edifice of a very limited extent was erected, and a church organized, to which the name of St. Mary’s was given. This was consecrated on the first of February, 1840, and was enlarged in 1841, so as to accommodate about two hundred and fifty persons. The parish grew rapidly during the following years, and the church was twice enlarged. In 1856, the Rev. Mr. Johnson, who was originally instrumental in forming the parish, became rector; and as the accommodations were no longer adequate, ground was purchased in the neighborhood, on Classon avenue, near Myrtle, one hundred and sixty-four feet front and two hundred and eighteen deep.

The corner-stone of a new edifice of brown freestone was laid in the summer of 1858; and the neat and tasteful Gothic structure, designed by Mr. [Richard T.] Auchmuty, fifty-eight fleet wide and one hundred and fifteen feet long, with its tower and spire, and a capacious basement fitted up for the Sunday school, completed in the year following, and opened for divine services on Trinity Sunday. The outlay for ground and church was $32,000; the sittings are free. On the 24th of May, 1862, St. Mary’s was consecrated by the bishop of the diocese, the Rev. Dr. William F. Morgan, of St. Thomas’s church, New York, preaching the sermon.

from History of the City of Brooklyn by Henry R. Stiles

In 1981, St. Mary's Episcopal Church was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and in 1983 the church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
               
Console of Moller Organ, Op. 2339 (1917) at St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: The American Organist, May 1918)
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 2339 (1917)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 44 registers, 33 stops, 35 ranks




The third organ in the present church was built in 1917 by M.P. Möller of Hagerstown, Md. This organ was featured in The American Organist (May 1918), which described the installation as follows:

"Swell organ occupies the lower story in organ chamber at north side of Chancel; choir and enclosed great in second story, above swell; solo, double story at east end of chamber, with openings into chancel, and eight shades additional into church through great and choir chamber. Pedal pipes and all three great Open Diapasons on open chests in 10 foot extension into north aisle. Eight shades each for swell, and great and choir organs open into chancel, and eight others for each chamber open westward into nave of church. In all 43 shades, giving great expressive control. Chambers of heavy double woodwork with paper felt between, shades 2½ inch laminated, bevelled edges with heavy felt. The old casing was retained for reasons of sentiment. Console, of dark oak, stands at south side of chancel. A.G.O. pedal board."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed (4" wind pressure)
16
  Double Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave *
61
8
  1st Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute Harmonic *
61
8
  2nd Open Diapason
61
2
  Fifteenth *
61
8
  Doubleflute *
61
8
  Trumpet *
61
8
  Viola *
61
   
* enclosed with Choir

 

     

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (4" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Stopped Flute
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
2
  Flautina
73
8
  Clarabella
73
    Mixture III ranks [12-15-17]
219
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Celeste (TC)
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
4
  Principal
73
  Tremulant  

 

     

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (4" wind pressure)
8
  Violin Diapason
61
4
  Open Flute
61
8
  Melodia
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Vox Angelica (TC)
49
  Tremulant  
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed (10" wind pressure)
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Tuba Mirabilis (fr. 16')
16
  Tuba Profunda
85
4
  Tuba Clarion (fr. 16')
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes (4" and 10" wind pressure)
32
  Resultant
8
  Flute
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello [Vln. Diap.]
CH
16
  Bourdon
42
16
  Tuba Profunda
SO
16
  Echo Bourdon
SW
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
SO
16
  Violone [Dbl. Op. Diap.]
GT
4
  Tuba Clarion
SO
8
  Octave [Dbl. Op. Diap.]
GT
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Choir to Swell 8'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Great 16', 4', Unison Off
    Solo to Pedal 8'   Swell 16', 4', Unison Off
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir 16', 4', 4', Unison Off
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Solo 4' (affects 8' Diapason only)
    Solo to Great 8'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Solo Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb)
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Pedal – Great & Choir   Pianissimo
    Balanced Pedal – Swell   Fortissimo
    Balanced Pedal – Solo   Cancel for Pianissimo
    Register Crescendo Pedal   Cancel for Fortissimo
    Great to Pedal Reversible    
               
  Reuben Midmer & Sons organ in St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, NY
 
1909 photo showing Reuben Midmer & Sons organ
Reuben Midmer & Sons
Brooklyn, N.Y. (1870)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 32 stops, 36 ranks








In 1870, a new three-manual organ by Reuben Midmer & Sons was installed in the church. A "Grand Exhibition of the New Organ at St. Mary's Church" took place on Tuesday evening, May 9, 1871. Sharing the programme were four Brooklyn organists: John M. Loretz, Jr. (St. Ann's), S. B. Whitley (Holy Trinity), Albert S. Caswell (Westminster), and W.A.M. Diller (St. Mary's); and three organists from New York: Arthur H. Messiter (Trinity Church), George Wm. Warren (St. Thomas), and Dr. Clare W. Beames (no church given). Built at a "Price about $5,600," the new organ had the following scheme:
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Double Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Viola di Gamba
58
    Sesquialtera, 3 ranks
174
8
  Doppel Flute
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Principal
58
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Flute Harmonic
58
       

 

     

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
    Cornet, 3 ranks [12, 15, 17]
174
8
  Open Diapason
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Hautboy
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Vox Humana (TC)
46
4
  Principal
58
    Tremulant  
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
       

 

     

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Dulciana
58
4
  Violino
58
8
  Keraulopohon
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Clarinet [TC]
46
4
  Flauto Traverso
58
       
               
Pedale Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Double Dulciana
30
16
  Trombone
30
               
Couplers
   
Great to Pedals   operated by Pedal double acting
Choir to Pedals   operated by Pedal double acting
Swell to Pedals   operated by Pedal double acting
Great to Swell )  
Great to Choir ) operated by thumb knobs between great & swell manuals
Choir to Swell )  
               
Composition Pedals
1.
  To operate full Great Organ except reeds.
2.
  To reduce full Great Organ to Double Diapason, Viola di Gamba & Doppel Flute
3.
  To operate full Swell Organ except Hautboy
4.
  To reduce full Swell Organ to Open Diapason, Salicional & Stopped Diapason
     
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Tremulant to Swell      
     
    Hydraultic Engine (Forrester's Patent) to cellar of church, where are placed also four horizontal feeders, the wind from the same being conducted to the bellows in organ chamber.
     
    Illumination of pipes by Mr. John Herbold
               
William H. Davis
New York City (1859)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located. 
               
  L.C. Harrison & Co.. organ (1890) in Parish Hall of St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Larry Trupiano)
 
photo: Larry Trupiano
Organ in Parish Hall:

L.C. Harrison & Co.
Bloomfield, N.J. (1890)
Mechanical action
1 manuals, 7 stops, 7 ranks




The organ in the Parish Hall was built in 1890 by L.C. Harrison & Co. of Bloomfield, N.J. This organ is extant but unplayable.
               
Manual – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
8
  Gamba
58
8
  Melodia (TC)
46
  [Blank] - 4' Flute Harmonic?
8
  Stop'd Diapason Bass
12
4
  Principal
58
8
  Dulciana (TC)
46
2
  Fifteenth
58

 

     

 

     
Pedal – 25 notes
16
  Bourdon Bass
25
       

 

     

 

     
Accessories
    Pedal to Manual Coupler       Bellows Signal  
    Ped. Bourdon Octave 8' Coupler      
               
Sources:
     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.
     "Grand Exhibition of the New Organ at St. Mary's Church" (May 9, 1871). Programme and Scheme of the Reuben Midmer & Sons organ (1870). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Morrone, Francis. An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Brooklyn: Gibbs Smith, 2001.
     "Prower Symons' New Organ," The American Organist (May 1918): 270,275. Specification of M. P. Möller organ, Op. 2339 (1917). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Smith, Mark Victor. Specification of L.C. Harrison & Co. organ (1890).
     Stiles, Henry Reed. History of the City of Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn: 1867-70.
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specification of Reuben Midmer & Sons organ (1870). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     The American Organist (May 1918). Console of M. P. Möller organ, Op. 2339 (1917). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     eBay.com. Photo (1909) of church interior.
     Trupiano, Larry. Photo (2015) of L.C. Harrison & Co. organ.