Manhattan College - Riverdale (The Bronx), NY
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Manhattan College

4513 Manhattan College Parkway
The Bronx, N.Y. 10471


Organ Specifications:
II/16 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 617 (1956)
II/16 George S. Hutchings; reb. Clark & Fenton


In May 1853, five Christian Brothers moved their small Canal Street school to what was then known as Manhattanville, a section of New York City at 131st Street and Broadway. The Brothers brought with them more than their furniture and their students. They were the bearers of a long educational tradition, going back to 17th century France and their founder, John Baptist de La Salle, designated by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Teachers. He formed a community of religious Brothers who, unlike priests, would devote themselves as teachers to work for the wellbeing of the children of the artisans and the underprivileged.

Between 1853 and 1863, the school changed rapidly, adding college-level courses in 1859 and first using the name Manhattan College in 1861. It was chartered by the Board of Regents on April 2, 1863. As the school grew, new quarters were needed. The cornerstone of the “New Manhattan” was laid in 1922 on property bordered by the Hudson River and Van Cortlandt Park, its present location.

Today Manhattan College identifies itself as a Catholic College in the Lasallian tradition. That tradition has continued to characterize the special educational experience offered by the College over its long history. Its constant focus has been the education of the disadvantaged.
        
Over the years, an evolution has taken place in faculty representation. The predominantly Christian Brothers faculty has been replaced by predominantly lay teachers, and includes both men and women. The College became coeducational and accepted its first women undergraduate students in 1973.

Smith Auditorium, Manhattan College - Riverdale (The Bronx), NY  

Located in the heart of the Quadrangle, Smith Auditorium houses the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers (on the upper level) and a multi-purpose auditorium (on the lower level). It was named for donor George R. Smith, class of 1884. The Auditorium was designed to seat 1200, and is the scene of meetings, plays, concerts, and notable lectures. The Chapel was left a stark white, contrasting with the dark wainscoting and the Stations of the Cross carved in Oberammergau, Germany. The esplanade and steps were designed to provide an outdoor setting for commencements in years past.

Today the Chapel is the site for Mass and special convocations and events. Smith Auditorium is the home to the Manhattan players, students and academic activities, and campus gatherings.

               
 
  Chapel Interior (1988)
J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co.
Yonkers, N.Y. – Opus 617 (1956)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 16 ranks


The Articles of Agreement (Mar. 15, 1956) between J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. and Manhattan College shows that Odell agreed to rebuild the existing organ for a consideration of $7,100, less an allowance of $100 for the existing Tuba and Aeoline pipes. Odell replaced the manual pipe chests with new pitman chests, and rebuilt the existing pedal pipe chest. All pipes were removed to the Odell plant in Yonkers, where they were cleaned, repaired and revoiced; metal pipes were fitted with slide tuners, while wood pipes received a coat of shellac and stoppers were refitted. The old console was rebuilt with new stop keys and an electric combination action, and all wind operated action was replaced by new electric action. The blower and electric motor were in good working order and were retained, but a new modern selenium rectifier was installed. Odell stated that the organ would be ready for use within approximately eight (8) months from the date of the contract.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Melodia
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2
  Super Octave
61
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Open Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Nazard [TC]
49
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Oboe [TC]
49
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Rohr Flute
61
    Tremulant  
4
  Violina
61
       
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes

16
  Bourdon
30
       
8
  Bass Flute
30
       
               
Couplers

    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Great 16', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8'   Swell to Swell 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Combination Action (setter board system, visibly moving stop keys)

   
Swell (& Pedal?) Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Great (& Pedal?) Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
               
Accessories

    Balanced Swell Pedal   Current Indicator Light
    Balanced Crescendo-Sforzando Pedal   Crescendo Indicator Light
    Great to Pedal Reversible   Selenium Rectifier for organ current
             
George S. Hutchings
Boston, Mass. (unknown date); reb. Clark & Fenton
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 16 ranks


Specifications of the first known organ in Manhattan College were recorded by J.S. & C.S. Odell, who noted, "Appears to be electrified Hutchings tracker organ." The Hutchings opus list does not include an organ for Manhattan College, so it seems probable that the organ was acquired second-hand. The Odells indicated that the organ was 8' 10" deep by 13' 5" high, and the case was 6' 6" high with the tallest front 15' off the floor. The console was 4' from the case and had "short keys" that were in good shape and could be "made like new." A note from the Charles Scharpeger papers state that the organ was electrified by Clark & Fenton, an organbuilding firm active in Nyack, N.Y. from 1923-c.1932. It seems likely that the Great 8' Tuba was added by Clark & Fenton.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Melodia
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Tuba
61
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute Harmonic
61
8
  Salicional [TC]
49
4
  Violina
61
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Oboe [TC]
49
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Vox Humana [sep. chest]
61
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes

16
  Bourdon
30
       
8
  "Open" (wood)
30
       
               
Couplers

    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Great 16', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8'   Swell to Swell 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Combination Action (setter board system)

   
Swell (& Pedal?) Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Great (& Pedal?) Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
               
Accessories

    Balanced Swell Pedal   Tremolo
               
Sources:
      Smith Auditorium, Manhattan College. The Council of Indepedent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project web site: http://hcap.artstor.org/cgi-bin/library?a=d&d=p1043
      J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. Factory Specifications (Mar. 15, 1956) of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 617. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
      J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. Specifications of "electrified Hutchings tracker organ." Courtesy Larry Trupiano.

Photos:
      Cardcow.com. Undated postcard of Manhattan College campus.
      The Council of Indepedent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project web site. Chapel exterior; Chapel interior (1988).