St. Joseph Catholic Church - Bronx, NY
 
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Church of St. Joseph
(Roman Catholic)

1949 Bathgate Avenue near Tremont Avenue
Bronx, N.Y. 10457


Organ Specifications:
1949 Bathgate Avenue near Tremont Avenue (since 1899)
III/26 Midmer-Losh Organ Company (1929)
• M.P. Möller, Inc. (1917) – electrify Davis organ
• William H. Davis (c.1899) – rebuild Jardine organ
Washington Avenue near 177th Street (1874-1899)
• George Jardine & Son (c.1874)


The original 1873 building of  St. Joseph Catholic Church - Bronx, NY  
Original Church  
The Parish of St. Joseph was established in 1873 by Archbishop McCloskey to serve the German Catholics in Tremont and the surrounding areas. In October 1873, the cornerstone was laid for the first church, a handsome Gothic structure that fronted Washington Avenue near 177th Street (now Tremont Avenue). The completed church was dedicated on March 22, 1874. The first resident pastor was the Rev. Joseph M. Sorg, who remained until 1877.

Ground was broken for the present church in October 1898. Located near the original building, the new church was built on a lot that has a frontage of 108 feet on Bathgate Avenue and a depth of 105 feet, running through to Washington Avenue. The neo-Gothic church was built of white stone quarried from the lot, and faced with polished granite on the front and rear ends. When built, the church provided seating for about 1,500 persons.
           
  Midmer-Losh organ (1929) in St. Joseph's Catholic Church - The Bronx, NY (photo: Dave Schmauch)
Midmer-Losh Inc.
Merrick, N.Y. (1929)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 35 stops, 26 ranks



The following specification was recorded (July 23, 1938) by Louis F. Mohr & Co., an organ service concern in the area. Mohr wrote that the organ had electric action, a detached console built to A.G.O. standards (61 manual keys, 32 pedal keys), and was duplexed. The organ was installed behind an oak case with 21 silver front pipes. Midmer-Losh indicated in their Ledger Book (June 1929) that the organ cost $13,000. Mohr did not include pipecounts, but the following are suggested, based on similar Midmer-Losh organs of the period.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Open Diapason [unit, unenc.]
85
4
  Flute
8
  Open Diapason
2
  Piccolo
8
  Gross Flute [unit]
85
8
  Tuba
73
8
  Doppel Flute
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Viol d'Gamba
73
    Great to Great 4'  
8
  Gemshorn
73
    Great to Great 16'  
4
  Principal
    Unison Off  

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [unit]
97
2 2/3
  Nazard
8
  Open Diapason
73
    Cornet III ranks
183
8
  Stopped Diapason
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Viol d'Orchestre
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Salicional
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Viol Celeste [TC]
61
    Swell to Swell 4'  
4
  Violina
73
    Swell to Swell 16'  
4
  Flute
    Unison Off  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Principal
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Concert Flute
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Dolcissimo
73
    Choir to Choir 4'  
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
    Choir to Choir 16'  
4
  Fugara
73
    Unison Off  
4
  Flute a Chiminee
73
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
8
  Octave
16
  Open Diapason [unit, wood]
44
8
  Flute
16
  Bourdon [unit]
44
16
  Tuba Profunda [ext. GT]
12
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8'   Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Expression Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Great Expression Pedal   Sforzando Reversible
    Balanced Choir Expression Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
         
M. P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. (1917)
Electro-pneumatic action


In 1917, the Möller Company was contracted to rebuild and electrify the Wm. H. Davis organ. Möller did not assign an opus number to this work. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
         
William H. Davis
New York City (c.1899)
Mechanical action


Sometime before 1909, the Jardine organ was rebuilt by William H. Davis of New York City. It seems like that Davis moved the Jardine organ to the present church. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
         
Organ in original church:

George Jardine & Son
New York City (c.1874)
Mechanical action


The first-known organ for St. Joseph's Church was built by George Jardine & Son of New York City. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     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.
     Fiero, Thomas M. Specification of the Midmer-Losh organ (1929).
     Midmer-Losh Organ Company ledger book (June 1929). Cost of organ. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specification (July 23, 1938) of the Midmer-Losh organ (1929). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     "The New St. Joseph's Church," The New York Times (Oct. 16, 1898).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.

Illustrations:
     Fiero, Thomas M. Interior; Midmer-Losh organ (1929).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008: etching of original church; exterior of present church.