New York Institute for Special Education - Bronx, N.Y.
Click on images to enlarge
New York Institute for Special Education

999 Pelham Parkway
Bronx, N.Y. 10469
http://www.nyise.org/


Organ Specifications:
999 Pelham Parkway (since 1924):
III/43 Austin Organs Inc., Op. 1235-A (1958)
• III/32s Austin Organ Company, Op. 1235 (1924)
34th Street and Ninth Avenue – Manhattan (1832-1924):
III/23 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 422 (1906)
• II/ Levi U. Stuart (1870)
• Hall & Labagh (1844)


J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. Organ, Op. 422 (1906) in the New York Institution for the Blind - New York City  
The New York Institution for the Blind held its first class for blind children in the United States when it opened its doors on March 15, 1832. It started out in a single room in lower Manhattan and moved to a large estate donated by James Boorman in 1832. At the time, the Bowman estate was out in the country on a site now near Ninth avenue and 34th Street.

In 1924, the Institute moved to the present campus, relocating from congested Manhattan to a 17.5-acre bucolic location in the Bronx. As early as 1859 the management had recognized that the present site was inadequate, but no new location was found. As a result of this delay, “civilization” threatened to swallow the Institute. By the late nineteenth century, the once-tranquil site had trolley lines on three sides, while an elevated railroad crossed in front of the building. The noise made it extremely difficult to teach, for most instruction was given orally. At last, an undeveloped 35-acre site was acquired in north Manhattan around a hill then called Mount Hope (now Washington Heights). Development was delayed by the Civil War and by a weak economy. Eventually, it became apparent that the growth of New York City had made the land too valuable to be used as a school. While searching for another site, some of the land was leased out. The most unusual tenant, from 1903-1912, was a baseball team, the New York Highlanders, which later became known as the New York Yankees.

When part of the DeWitt family estate in Bronxville was made available in 1909, the Institution’s problem seemed to be solved. The Managers had not, however, allowed for the opposition of the good citizens of Bronxville, many of whom were aghast at the thought of having the Institute as a neighbor. Some even compared it to Sing Sing, the notorious prison. This location had to be abandoned, and the next proposed site, in Yonkers, also failed.

Success was at last achieved in February 1917, when part of a farm on Pelham Parkway in the Bronx was sold to the Board of Managers. Ground was officially broken on April 15, 1923, and on June 12th that year, the cornerstone was laid for the largest building, now called the Schermerhorn Building.

Today this site, with its 200,000 square feet of space and 14 buildings, brings to mind an ivy-league campus. There, the children have the oppor-tunity to be independent within a safe and secure environment. Among its many special facilities are an indoor swimming pool, a therapeutic pool, bowling alley, gymnasium, large library, health service and playground. Facilities designed especially for blind children include a well-equipped resource center for library work and computer training.

In 1986 a vision for the future of the Institute was formalized by one more change of name: Founded in 1831 as “The New York Institution for the Blind,” in 1912 the name was changed to “The New York Institute for the Education of the Blind.” From July 22, 1986, the new corporate name became “The New York Institute for Special Education (NYISE).”
             
  Console of Austin Organ, Op. 1235-A (1958) in New York Institute for Special Education - The Bronx, N.Y.
Austin Organs Inc.
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 1235-A (1958)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 51 stops, 43 ranks




In 1958, the Austin company rebuilt the existing 1924 Austin organ. Pipecounts listed below are estimated, based on similar Austin organ of the era.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Gemshorn
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Diapason
61
  Fourniture III ranks
183
8
  Bourdon
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Dulciana
61
4
  Clarion
61
4
  Principal
61
  Chimes
4
  Gemshorn [ext.]
24
  Sub
4
  Koppelflöte [ext.]
12
  Unison Off
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
  Super
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed

16
  Rohrbourdon
68
16
  Fagotto [unit]
80
8
  Geigen Principal
68
8
  Trumpet
68
8
  Rohrflöte
68
8
  Oboe
8
  Salicional
68
8
  Vox Humana
68
8
  Voix Celeste [GG]
61
4
  Clarion
68
4
  Principal
68
  Tremulant
4
  Waldflöte
68
  Vox Tremulant
2 2/3
  Rohrnasat
61
  Sub
2
  Flautino
61
  Unison Off
1 1/3
  Larigot
61
  Super
  Plein Jeu III ranks
183
   
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Viola
68
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Bourdon
68
8
  Krummhorn
68
8
  Dulciana
68
  Tremulant
8
  Unda Maris [GG]
61
  Sub
4
  Koppelflöte
68
  Unison Off
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
  Super
2
  Blockflöte
61
   
     
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes

16
  Principal
32
4
  Geigen
16
  Gemshorn
GT
4
  Flute
GT
16
  Rohrbourdon
SW
  Mixture III ranks
96
10 2/3
  Quint
16
  Trombone [ext. GT]
12
8
  Geigen [unit]
44
16
  Fagotto
SW
8
  Gemshorn
GT
8
  Trumpet
GT
8
  Rohrbourdon
SW
4
  Clarion
GT
               
  Austin Organ, Op. 1235 (1924) in the New York Institution for the Blind - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Wurts Bros., 1925)
Austin Organ Company
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 1235 (1924)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 32 stops


For the Institute's new auditorium at the Bronx campus, the Austin Organ Company was selected to build a three-manual organ in 1924. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.  
               
  J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co. Organ, Op. 422 (1906) in the New York Institution for the Blind - New York City
Organ in auditorium at the previous location in Manhattan:

J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co.
New York City – Opus 422 (1906)
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 23 stops, 23 ranks


In 1906, the J.H. & C.S. Odell Company of New York City was contracted to build a new organ for the Institute's auditorium. The three-manual organ had twenty-three ranks and employed tubular-pneumatic action. From the photo shown above, it seems that the existing organ case was retained but modified by the addition of pipe flats on both sides.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Melodia
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
   
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Violina
61
8
  Salicional
61
4
  Rohr Flöte
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Aeoline
49
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
   
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Violin Diapason
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
8
  Dulce
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
     
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes

16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
   
               
Couplers

    Swell to Great       Great to Pedal  
  Choir to Great  
  Choir to Pedal  
    Swell to Choir       Swell to Pedal  
    Swell to Swell 4'          
               
Piston Combination Movements

1.
  Great Organ Forte  
4.
  Swell Organ Forte  
2.
  Great Organ Mezzo  
5.
  Swell Organ Mezzo  
3.
  Great Organ Piano  
6.
  Swell Organ Piano  
               
Pedal Movements

1.
  Crescendo-Sforzando Pedal. (This Pedal to control entire organ, bringing on and off all speaking stops in the order of their power, slowly and gradually or with great rapidity at will of organist.)
2.
  Balanced Swell Pedal
3.
  Great to Pedal Reversible
       
Mechanical Accessories

1.
  Swell Organ Tremulant  
3.
  Wind Indicator  
3.
  Crescendo Indicator  
               
  Levi U. Stuart organ (1870) in the New York Institution for the Blind - New York City
Organ in the previous location in Manhattan:

Levi U. Stuart
New York City (1870)
Mechanical action
2 manuals



In 1870, Levi U. Stuart of New York City replaced the Hall & Labagh organ with a new instrument. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.  
               
Organ in the previous location in Manhattan:

Hall & Labagh
New York City (1844)
Mechanical action


The first known organ for the Institute for the Blind was built in 1844 by Hall & Labagh of New York City. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.  
               
Sources:
     Mellor, C. Michael. 175 Years of Doing Good. New York: New York State Institute for Special Education, 2007.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     New York Institute for Special Education web site: http://www.nyise.org/
     Scofield, Jeff. Specifications of Austin Organ, Op. 1235-A (1958).
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 422, 1906).

Photos:
     The American Organist, February 1956: console of Austin Organ, Op. 1235-A (1958).
     New York Institute for Special Education web site.
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). 1925 photo of interior showing Austin Organ, Op. 1235 (1924).