St. Jerome Catholic Church and School - Bronx, N.Y. (Forgotten NY website)
 
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Church of St. Jerome
(Roman Catholic)

230 Alexander Avenue and East 138th Street
Bronx, N.Y. 10454
http://stjeromenyc.org/

Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1900)
III/37 W.W. Kimball Company (1900)
First building (1870-1900)
II/12 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 95 (1870)



St. Jerome Catholic Church and School (1880) - Bronx, N.Y.  
Combined church and school in 1880
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Jerome, in the Mott Haven area of the Bronx, was established in 1869 by Father John J. Hughes to serve and support Irish and German immigrants. Masses were celebrated in the abandoned Market House at Mott Haven, on the corner of Alexander Avenue and East 138th Street. Father Hughes purchased the entire block on Alexander Avenue between 137th and 138th Streets. On this site he planned to gradually erect a church, a school, and a rectory. First to be built was the school building, in which the lower floor was used as a chapel. The combined school and church building was dedicated on June 19, 1870.

Under the leadership of Father Patrick Tandy, successor to Father Hughes, the present church was built on the corner of Alexander Avenue and 138th Street. Designed by Delhi & Howard in a Spanish-Moorish-Romanesque style, construction began in 1898 and was completed in July 1900, nine months before Father Tandy's death. It is noted for its 100-foot main tower and cavernous interior. Some early parishioners referred to their church as "the cathedral of the Bronx."

In the postwar years, the congregation included large numbers of Puerto Ricans who had moved into the area, and more recently immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Mexico. In 1986, the Mott Haven Historic District—which includes St. Jerome's Church—was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
         
  W.W. Kimball Organ (c.1900) in St. Jerome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Sebastian Glück)
   
 
W.W. Kimball Organ (c.1900) in St. Jerome Catholic Church - Bronx, N.Y. (photo: Sebastian Glück)
W. W. Kimball Company
Chicago, Ill. (1900)
Tubular-pneumatic action; elec. by Estey
3 manuals, 35 stops, 37 ranks




The organ in the second St. Jerome's Church was originally built by the W.W. Kimball Company of Chicago. Kimball installed the pipes and mechanisms behind two cases that flank the stained-glass windows in the gallery. On the left side are the Great and Choir divisions, with speaking façade pipes from the Great 16' and 8' Diapasons, and on the right side are the Swell and Pedal divisions. Kimball employed tubular-pneumatic action, a feature that proved to be unreliable in many of that firm's organs of the period.

At an unknown time, the organ was mechanically rebuilt by the Estey Organ Company of Brattlesboro, Vt. Estey installed electro-pneumatic action and the three-manual console that exists today.

After more than a century of use and water damage the organ was nearly unplayable. In 2012 the church contracted with Glück Pipe Organs of New York City to restore various components of the historic instrument. During restoration work, the date "August 16, 1900" was found written inside one of the windchests.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir
16
  Double Open Diapason *
61
4
  Flute Harmonic
61
8
  Open Diapason *
61
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Gamba [tin] *
61
  Mixture III ranks [15-17-19]
183
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Octave
61
  Great Unison Off

     

 
* unenclosed
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon Bass
12
2
  Flautino
61
16
  Bourdon Treble (TC)
49
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Vox Humana [sep. chest]
61
8
  Unda Maris
61
  Tremolo
8
  Salicional
61
  Swell to Swell 16'
8
  Aeoline
61
  Swell Unison Off
4
  Flute Traverso
61
  Swell to Swell 4'
4
  Violina
61
   
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Principal
61
2
  Harmonic Piccolo
61
8
  Melodia
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Dolce
61
  Tremolo
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
  Choir Unison Off
4
  Fugara
61
  Choir to Choir 4'
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes (32-note pedalboard)
16
  Open Diapason (wood)
30
8
  Cello
30
16
  Bourdon (wood)
30
16
  Trombone (wood)
30
10 2/3
  Quint (wood)
30
   
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Great 8', 4'
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8'
         

Organ in first church building:

J. H. & C. S. Odell
New York City – Opus 95 (1870)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 13 registers, 12 stops, 12 ranks


The Agreement (September 5, 1870) between Odell and Rev. John Hughes states that the Odells would build a new organ for a consideration of $2250. "The Organ to have two Manuals & a Pedal. Compass of Manual from CC to A 58 notes. Compass of Pedals from CCC to C 25 notes. To be enclosed in a suitable case grained with large Speaking pipes in front decorated in gold and colors and to contain the following Stops and arrangements viz:"

               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Keraulophon *
58
4
  Wald Flute (wood)
46
8
  Clarionet Flute (wood)
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
           
* grooved bass
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason *
58
8
  Stopped Diapason treble (w)
46
8
  Dulciana
46
4
  Violina Principal
58
8
  Stopped Diapason bass (w)
12
8
  Oboe (TC)
46
           
* grooved bass
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Grand Bourdon (wood)
25
       
               
Couplers
    Patent Reversible Coupler   Great to Pedal
    Swell to Great   Bellows alarm
    Swell to Pedal    
    "The Action to be extended in a direct line front"
           
Sources:
     Church of St. Jerome website: http://stjeromenyc.org/
     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.
     Flanders, Stephanie. "Mott Haven Journal; For Generations, a Sanctuary for Immigrants in the Bronx," The New York Times (May 27, 2001).
     Glück, Sebastian. Specification of W.W. Kimball Organ (1900) and present Estey console.
     "New St. Jerome's Church." The New York Times (July 11, 1900).
     Organ Historical Society Archives. Agreement and Specification of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 95 (1870). Courtesy Bynum Petty, archivist.
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.

Illustrations:
     Glück, Sebastian. Photos (2012) of gallery and W.W. Kimball Organ (1900).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. 1873 school; exterior of present church.