St. Crispin's Friary - Bronx, N.Y.
 
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St. Crispin's Friary
(Roman Catholic)

420 East 156th Street near Melrose Avenue
Bronx, N.Y. 10455






St. Crispin's Friary is home to the Community of Franciscans of the Renewal (C.F.R.), a group established in 1987 when eight members of the Capuchin Franciscan provinces of New York and New Jersey set out to imitate the work of St. Francis. Their mission was to work with the poor, live more simply, and carry out evangelization in a more direct way. The Archdiocese allowed the community, which owns no property, to use the former St. Adalbert's Church on East 156th Street in the Melrose section of the South Bronx. The first project started by the C.F.R. was the Padre Pio Shelter for 18 homeless men in the basement of the old school. Next, the friars and Catholic Charities purchased an old burned-out six-story tenement from New York City for $1 and renovated it as St. Anthony Residence, an SRO for 65 formerly homeless men. The school building is also the site of a clothing distribution program, AA meetings, the St. Francis Center that provides religious education and athletic programs for youth, and the St. Anthony Free Medical Clinic. Located in the old convent is another friary: Our Lady of the Angels.

St. Adalbert's was a Polish parish established in 1897 by the Rev. Joseph Dworzak, and the red brick Gothic structure was built in 1899. Over the years the parish added a rectory, school and convent to the site. By the 1970s, the Polish families had moved, and the South Bronx was experiencing a dramatic rise in crime. St. Adalbert's closed sometime in the 1980s.
           
  John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
   
 
John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
John Mantel
New York City (1900)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops, 15 ranks









The organ in the former St. Adalbert's Church was built in 1900 by John Mantel of New York City. After working 30 years for George Jardine & Son of New York, Mantel apparently started his own firm in 1890. Sometime around 1900, Mantel joined with Jacob Scultetus to form Scultetus & Mantel. At an unknown time, the Great Gamba was replaced with a trumpet rank inscribed "Swell Trumpet, Allentown, PA 816", and the Swell Oboe was removed.

In 2012 this organ was found to be extant and somewhat playable.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Gamba *
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Double Flute
61
* replaced by Trumpet

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon Treble [TC]
49
8
  Salicional
61
16
  Bourdon Bass
12
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Violin
61
8
  St. Diapason [TC]
49
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Unison Bass
12
8
  Oboe [removed]
61
8
  Dulciana [TC]
49
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Couplers, &c
    Swell to Great   Tremulant  
    Great to Pedal   Bellow's Signal  
    Swell to Pedal      
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Piano   Swell Piano
   
Great Forte
  Swell Forte
         
    Balanced Swell Pedal    
         
John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)   John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
     
John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
  John Mantel organ (1900) in St. Crispin's Friary Chapel - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Dave Schmauch)
           
Sources:
     Burger, John. "Franciscans of Renewal blend evangelization and work with the poor," Catholic New York (June 3, 1999).
     The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Vol. III. New York: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914.
     Schmauch, Dave. Specifications of John Mandel organ (1900).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808–2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.

Illustrations:
     Schmauch, Dave. John Mantel organ (1900).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808–2008. Exterior.