Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
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Church of the Ascension
(Roman Catholic)

221 West 107th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10025


Organ Specifications:
III/53 Ernest A. Lucas, Jr. (1969)
III/45 Müller & Abel, Op. 56 (1898)
Chapel in Lower Church
II/7 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Op. 30034 (1939)
• II/ Unknown Builder (c.1900)




 
The Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension was organized in 1895 to serve the developing Upper West Side of Manhattan. Schickel & Ditmars designed the Romanesque Revival building, built from 1896-97, that is located midblock on 107th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. The facade, which is faced with light-colored rough stone and limestone trim, includes a triple portal entrance surmounted by a rose window, and four small turrets. Inside, the Italianate nave has a decorated ceiling, wheel windows at the clerestory level, and tall side aisles with faux-marble columns. Above the white marble high altar is a richly-colored stained glass window depicting the Ascension of Christ.
           
  Muller & Abel Organ Case, Op. 56 (1898) at Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
   
  Ernest Lucas organ console (1960) at Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Ernest A. Lucas, Jr.
Belmore, N.Y. (1969)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 43 stops, 53 ranks



After six decades of service, the 1898 Müller & Abel organ was rebuilt by Ernest A. Lucas, Jr., of Belmore, N.Y. Lucas installed electro-pneumatic key action, a pneumatic console, and a new winding system. No tonal changes were made at this time, but the Great-Choir expression box was modified so that only the Choir stops were enclosed.

In 1969, the organ was altered with the redistribution of some original ranks, and new chests were provided by the Delaware Organ Company. In 1970, some thought was given to adding a second console near the sanctuary; instead an Allen Organ Company electronic instrument was purchased. Further work on the organ has been undertaken by Stanton Dougherty, organ curator.

As of June 2007, the Choir division was non-playable, having been disconnected a few years earlier.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Montre
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Prinzipal
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture III-IV ranks
232
8
  Dulciana
61
    Zimbel III ranks
183
4
  Octave
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Hohlpfeife
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
1 3/5
  Terz
61
8
  Lieblich Gedeckt
61
    Mixture III ranks
183
8
  Salicional
61
16
  Contre Hautbois
61
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Trompette
61
8
  Quintadena
61
8
  Hautbois
61
4
  Spitzfloete
61
4
  Clarion
61
2 2/3
  Nasat
61
    Tremolo  
2
  Weit Principal
61
 
     
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedeckt
61
    Scharf III ranks
183
4
  Rohrfloete
61
8
  Basset Horn
61
2
  Principal
61
    Tremolo  
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
 
     
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Contre Bass
32
4
  Choral Bass
32
16
  Bourdon
32
4
  Flute
32
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
    Mixture III ranks
96
10 2/3
  Quint
32
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Principal
32
8
  Trumpet
32
8
  Bourdon
32
4
  Chalumeau
32
           
  Muller & Abel Organ Case, Op. 56 (1898) at Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Müller & Abel
New York City – Opus 56 (1898)
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 38 stops, 45 ranks








The original organ in Church of the Ascension was built by Müller & Abel of New York City. Oscar Müller and George Abel, both German immigrants, were employed in the Roosevelt Organ Works of New York, Philadelphia and Boston, the preeminent organ builders from 1870 through 1893. When the Roosevelt firm ceased operations, Müller and Abel established their own factory in New York City, building sixty-two organs between 1893 and 1902.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Viola di Gamba
61
 
  Mixture, 3 & 4 ranks
232
8
  Doppel Flöte
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Hohl Flöte
61
    Chimes  
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Spitz Flöte
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Salicional
61
    Cornet 3, 4, & 5 ranks
264?
8
  Viol d'Orchestre
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Quintadena
61
 
  Tremolo  
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
 
     
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Principal
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Dolce
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Rohr Flöte
61
 
     
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
10 2/3
  Quint
30
 
     
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great 8', 4'       Great to Pedal 8'  
    Choir to Great 8'       Swell to Pedal 8'  
    Swell to Choir 8'       Choir to Pedal 8'  
               
Pedal Combinations
    Swell organ Forte     Great organ Forte
    Swell organ Mezzo     Great organ Mezzo
    Swell organ Piano     Great organ Piano
    Full organ     Choir organ Forte
    Great to Pedal     Choir organ Piano
           
Pedal Movements
   
Balanced Swell Pedal
     
    Balanced Choir Pedal          
           
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 30034 (1939)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 7 ranks, 415 pipes


In 1939, the Lower Church was renovated and a new two-manual pipe organ built by Aeolian-Skinner replaced the old instrument. This organ was entirely enclosed in one expression box. Sometime after 1970, the chapel was closed and the organ was removed.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Viole
61
8
  Gedeckt
49
4
  Flute [ext.]
12
8
  Flute [common bass]
61
2 2/3
  Nazard
8
  Salicional
61
2
  Piccolo [ext.]
12
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedeckt
4
  Flute
8
  Flute
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Viole
    Tremolo  
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
49
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt [ext. Manual]
12
       
8
  Gedeckt
MAN
       
           
Unknown Builder (c.1900)
2 manuals


Around 1900, a used two-manual pipe organ was installed in the Lower Church. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/
     The American Organ Archives, Organ Historical Society (Princeton, N.J.). Specifications of Müller & Abel organ, Op. 56 (1898). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Fox, David H. A Guide to North American Organbuilders. (rev. ed.) Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comp. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List (New Revised Edition). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977.
     Trupiano, Larry. Information about the organs as related by Msgr. Richard B. Curtain, pastor of Ascension from 1968 to 1970.

Illustrations:
     Steven E. Lawson