Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church - Brooklyn Heights, NY
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Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church

125 Henry Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
http://www.ziongelc.org


Organ Specifications:
III/42 Müller & Abel, Op. 56 (1901)
• unknown previous organ



The Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Zions-Gemeinde had its start on the first Sunday in Advent (December 2) of 1855. On that morning, twelve German immigrants met for worship with Pastor Friedrich W. T. Steimle in a small rented hall at the corner of Nassau and Fulton Streets. Although there were other Protestant churches in the area, some even using the German language, these founders wanted to preserve their identity and their heritage as Lutheran Christians, firmly committed to the Holy Scriptures and the 16th-century Lutheran Confessions. As a way of keeping pure doctrine, they obligated the congregation to always use German for worship and church business. Many German immigrants soon joined the new congregation, which moved to a larger hall at 189 Washington Street in May 1856, when the name Zion was adopted. By November of that year, Zion had grown enough to be incorporated and the present building was purchased for $14,500. Although it was built in 1839 as a Dutch Reformed church, the building was being used as a concert hall until Zion dedicated it on the first Sunday in Advent (November 30) of 1856. Zion thus occupies the oldest church building still in use in Brooklyn Heights.

Zion Lutheran Church is within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, designated in 1965 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
               
  Müller & Abel Organ, Op. 56 (1901) in Zion Lutheran Church - Brooklyn (credit: Paul Eschenauer)
Müller & Abel
Brooklyn, N.Y. – Opus 56 (1901)
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 38 stops, 42 ranks





The organ in Zion Lutheran Church was built in 1901 by the Brooklyn firm of Müller & Abel. An article in the Brooklyn Eagle (Sep. 1, 1901) described the organ as follows:
Superb Organ to Be Dedicated At Zion Evangelical Church

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church's magnificent new organ will be played upon in public for the first time on Sunday, September 22, when it will be dedicated. The first recital will be given Tuesday, September 24.
     The superb instrument is a three manual and pedal organ and really combines four organs in one. It is located on the gallery over the main entrance to the church. The console is extended, the organist facing the singers. The organ is 25 feet wide, 9 feet deep and 24 feet high.
     The wind chests throughout the organ are a form invented and used exclusively by the builders. They afford a separate pallet for every pipe, and have many advantages over the slide [sic] chests ordinarily employed. They are not affected by changes in the condition of the atmosphere, obviating the difficulty of borrowing when the full organ, or when many pipes of any given stop are used.
     One of the most noticeable musical effects mechanically obtained is the crescendo and diminuendo of startling intensity produced.
     The organ contains 38 speaking stops (11 in the great, 13 in the swell, 8 in the choir and 6 in the pedal organ): it has couplers by which various parts of the organ can be combined, 4 mechanical accessories and 12 pedal movements, making a grand total of 61 stops and appliances, the pipes numbering in all 2,577. The foregoing specification shows that this instrument will be one stop larger than the celebrated Roosevelt organ in the old First Church, across Henry Street.
     A prominent feature in the construction of this organ is the entended action, the console being placed in front and some distance from the organ, to enable the organist to overlook and direct the choir. Lead tubes run from every key, draw stops, etc., under a platform to the different parts of the organ. There are 283 of these tubes of an average length of 50 feet (a total of 14,150 feet, or nearly three miles of tubing in this one organ). This system is known as "tubular pneumatic action" of the exhaust type and is the invention of the builders.
Müller & Abel Organ, Op. 56 (1901) in Zion Lutheran Church - Brooklyn (credit: Paul Eschenauer)  



The Organ Historical Society awarded its distinguished Historical Citation No. 112 in recognition of the Müller & Abel Organ as an outstanding example of organbuilding and worthy of preservation.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir
16
  Double Open Diapason *
61
4
  Hohl Floete
61
8
  Open Diapason *
61
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Viola di Gamba
61
    Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Doppel Floete
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Octave
61
   
* unenclosed
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon +
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Cornet III ranks
183
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Octave
61
    Tremulant  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Principal
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
61
8
  Quintadena
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Dolce
61
    Tremulant  
4
  Fugara
61
       
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
10 2/3
  Quint
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Lieblich Gedacht +
SW
16
  Trombone
30
           
+ 1-30 on separate chest in rear of Swell
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal       Swell to Great  
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great Octaves  
    Choir to Pedal       Swell to Choir  
            Bellows Signal [now CH Chimes]
               
Composition Pedals
    Swell Forte (+ Pedal)       Reversible Pedal [GT & PED]
    Swell Mezzo (+ Pedal)       Great Forte (+ Pedal)
    Swell Piano (+ Pedal)       Great Mezzo (+ Pedal)
    Full Organ [hitch-down]       Great Piano (+ Pedal)
    Great & Choir Crescendo Lever   Choir Forte  
    Swell Crescendo Lever   Choir Piano  
               
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.
     Nelson, George. Organs of the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Organ Historical Society web site: http://www.organsociety.org.
     "Superb Organ to Be Dedicated At Zion Evangelical Church," Brooklyn Eagle (Sep. 1, 1901).
     Trupiano, Larry. Specifications of Müller & Abel organ, Op. 56 (1901).
     Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church web site: http://www.ziongelc.org

Illustrations:
     Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection. 1905 photo of Zion Lutheran Church.
     Eschenauer, Paul. Case and console of Müller & Abel organ, Op. 56 (1901).