Westchester United Methodist Church - Bronx, N.Y.
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Westchester United Methodist Church

2547 East Tremont Avenue near Silver Street
The Bronx, N.Y. 10461

Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1948):
II/4 M.P. Möller, Inc., Op. 8032 (1949)
• unknown (1913) – basement church
Second building (1899?-burned 1910):
• II/20reg M.P. Möller, Op. 223 (1899)
First building (1818-burned 1899?):
• unknown


Westchester Methodist Episcopal Church - Tremont Avenue, Bronx, N.Y. (c.1906)  
Second Church Building  
   
   
Westchester United Methodist Church was organized in 1808 and incorporated on March 8, 1809, making it the oldest church of that denomination in what is now called The Bronx. The society was originally named "Zion Methodist Episcopal Church of the town of Westchester." The first church edifice was erected about 1818 on Walker Avenue (now known as East Tremont Avenue), which was the road leading to West Farms, and the churchyard included a small cemetery. Zion Church was reincorporated on October 26, 1826, but it does not seem to have flourished, as the church corporation was dissolved. The society was reincorporated a second time on February 7, 1833, under the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Zion in the town of Westchester. The first church building was destroyed by fire at an unknown time, and the second church was built on the same site.

On May 9, 1910, the roof of the second church was set ablaze when the nearby Morris Park Racetrack caught fire, after which the congregation decided that a brick church would be safer. From 1913 to 1948, the congregation worshiped in the roofed-over basement that was two-thirds below ground; throughout this period, the church was known as "The Eelpot Church" because an eelpot is two-thirds submerged below water. Finally, in 1948, the present brick church was constructed over the basement.
               
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 8032 (1949)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 23 stops, 4 ranks


This two-manual Möller unit organ was enclosed in one swell box and had a detached stop-key console. The organ was voiced on 4½" wind pressure.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason
73
4
  Fugara
8
  Gedeckt
85
2 2/3
  Viole Twelfth
8
  Viole Dolce
85
2
  Viole Fifteenth *
4
  Octave
8
  Trumpet
4
  Flute
   
Chimes
preparation
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [TC]
2 2/3
  Flute Twelfth
8
  Gedeckt
2
  Flautino *
8
  Viole Dolce
8
  Trumpet
73
8
 
Viole Celeste
preparation
4
  Clarion
4
  Flute
    Tremulant  
4
  Fugara
       
           
* top 7 notes break back
Pedal Organ – 32 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
4
  Octave
8
  Diapason
4
  Flute
8
  Flute
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great          
    Great to Pedal          
    Swell to Pedal        
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 affecting Full Organ
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal     Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal      
           
Accesories
    Wind Indicator     Generator Indicator
             
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 223 (1899)
Mechanical? action
2 manuals, 20 registers


The first known organ for Westchester Methodist Episcopal Church was built by M.P. Möller in 1899. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Bolton, Robert Jr. A History of the County of Westchester From Its First Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II. New York: Alexander S. Gould, 1848.
     Di Brino, Nicholas. The History of the Morris Park Racecourse and the Morris Family, pub. by Bronx Historical Society, 1977.
     Jenkins, Stephen. The Story of the Bronx from the Purchase Made by the Dutch from the Indians in 1639 to the Present Day. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1912
     McNamara, John. History in Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names, pub. by Bronx Historical Society, 1993
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of M.P. Möller Organ, Op. 8039 (1949).

Illustrations:
     Jenkins, Stephen. The Story of the Bronx from the Purchase Made by the Dutch from the Indians in 1639 to the Present Day. Photo of second church building.