1910 postcard of Fordham Manor Reformed Church - Bronx, N.Y.
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Fordham Manor Reformed Church

2705 Reservoir Avenue near Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, N.Y. 10468
http://www.fordhammanor.org/


Organ Specifications:
2705 Reservoir Avenue (since 1940)
• unknown
71 West Kingsbridge Road (1802-1940)
Second building (1849-1940):
II/18 L.C. Harrison, Op. 102 (1885)
• William H. Davis (1864)
First building (1801-1849):
• unknown
Fordham Avenue and Sedgwick Avenue (1706-1801)
• unknown


1910 postcard of Fordham Manor Reformed Church - Bronx, N.Y.  
1910 postcard of third church
 
The Fordham Manor Reformed Protestant Dutch Church has existed since Colonial times, and is located in the area that was once part of the Manor of Fordham, acquired by Cornelius Steenwyck after John Archer, a Dutchman, defaulted on his mortgage. Steenwyck willed the manor to the Nether Reformed Dutch congregation that had been established at new Amsterdam in 1628. Later, the manor came under the authority of the Collegiate Church in New York, who organized a church on the property in May of 1696. For the first ten years, the society met in private homes, then erected a church in 1706 on the John Valentine farm, located at the area that came to be known as Fordham Road and Sedgwick Avenue at Devoe Park. The church cemetery was established across the street at the southwest corner. Beginning in 1753, the church began to sell parcels—about five square miles—of the Manor of Fordham, retaining about an acre of ground for use by the church. During the Revolutionary War, the church was destroyed by British troops.

In 1801, the second church was built on land donated by Dennis Valentine that was located near the Kingsbridge Road and adjacent to the present location. This structure served the society until 1849, when a new church was built adjacent to the old one. This brick and wooden Georgian-style edifice with a four-story wooden steeple was enlarged in 1878 with funds provided by Horace B. Claflin, although he was not a member of the congregation. In 1940, the old church and manse were razed, and the corner plot on which they stood was sold to a developer who erected an apartment building. The cornerstone for the fourth and present church was laid on October 6, 1940. Built in the Georgian style on a plot very near where the old one stood, the present church faces Reservoir Avenue and includes a parish house and manse.
           
  Organ Facade at Fordham Manor Reformed Church - Bronx, N.Y.
Organ in present church:

Unknown
Electro-pneumatic action






The present organ in Fordham Manor Reformed Church has a pipe screen with 22 display pipes in its center section, corresponding to those described for the previous organ by L.C. Harrison. It is possible the old organ was moved to the present church. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Organ in previous church at 71 West Kingsbridge Road:

L.C. Harrison
Bloomfield, N.J. – Opus 102 (1885)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 18 stops, 18 ranks


The following specification is from the files of Louis F. Mohr & Co., a longtime organ service firm in the area. At the top of the sheet that is stamped "Apr 14 '16 10 05 AM" it was noted that there was an ash case, 22 front pipes in color, and "Kinetic" above the crossed-out word "hand". It seems likely that L.C. Harrison rebuilt the previous organ built in 1864 by William H. Davis.
               
Great Organ (Manual I)
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Gamba
39
4
  Dolcan Flute
56
8
  Dolce
56
2
  Piccolo
56
8
  Melodia [bass from Dolce]
39
8
  Clarinet [TC]
44
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – enclosed
16
  Bourdon Bass
17
4
  Violana
56
16
  Bourdon Treble
44
4
  Flute de Chiminee
44
8
  Violin Diapason
44
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
8
  Oboe & Bassoon
56
8
  Salicional
56
       
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
27
       
8
  Violoncello
27
       
               
Mechanicals
    3 couplers (pistons)      
    2 composition pedals to Great      
    Tremolo      
    Balance Swell Pedal      
           
William H. Davis
New York City (1864)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     "Anniversary Fete in Historic Church," The New York Times (Oct. 18, 1936).
     "Church in Bronx to Have New Home," The New York Times (Feb. 17, 1940).
     "Cornerstone Laid for Bronx Church," The New York Times (Oct. 7, 1940).
     Fordham Manor Reformed Church web site: http://www.fordhammanor.org/
     "Landmark Being Razed," The New York Times (Mar. 5, 1940).
     McNamara, John. McNamara's Old Bronx. Bronx: The Bronx County Historical Society, 1989.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications (Apr. 14, 1916) of L.C. Harrison Organ, Op. 102 (1885). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Twomey, Bill. The Bronx: In Bits and Pieces. Bloomington: Rooftop Publishing, 2007.

Illustrations:
     eBay.com: 1910 postcard of Fordham Manor Reformed Church.
     Fordham Manor Reformed Church web site: organ facade (credit: Maria Medina-Felciano)