Calvary Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Ken Stein)
Click on images to enlarge
Calvary Episcopal Church

237 Park Avenue South at 21st Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
http://www.calvarystgeorges.org/


Organ Specifications:
Park Avenue South at 21st Street (since 1847)
IV/68 Aeolian-Skinner Company, rev. (1963-1983)
IV/71 Aeolian-Skinner Company., Op. 945 (1936)
III/45 Ernest M. Skinner Company, Op. 151 (1907)
III/52 Hilborne & Frank Roosevelt, Op. 374 (1886)
III/40 Davis & Ferris (1847); reb. L.U. Stuart (1868)
Fourth Avenue and 22nd Street (1844-1847)
• Henry Erben (1856)
Fourth Avenue and 30th Street (1836-1844)
• Thomas Wagstaff (1836)
 
Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church, established in 1836, first worshiped in a small frame building located on the corner of Fourth Avenue (now Park Avenue South) and 30th Street. The congregation moved in 1844 to another small frame building at Fourth Avenue and 22nd Street.

Postcard (ca. 1880s) of Calvary Episcopal Church - New York City  
Postcard (ca. 1880s) of Calvary Church  
In 1846, Calvary Church laid the cornerstone for its present edifice on the adjacent corner of Fourth Avenue and 21st Street. The Gothic Revival church was designed by James Renwick, Jr., who was also the architect for Grace Episcopal Church, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the Smithsonian Institution. The new church, which was consecrated on June 4, 1847, contained an organ built by William H. Davis and Richard M. Ferris.

Under the Rev. Samuel Moor Shoemaker, III (1893-1963), the Calvary Church Mission in the Bowery became the virtual American headquarters for the Oxford Group during the 1930s. From this group came Alcoholics Anonymous.

In 1975, the three congregations of St. George's Church, the Church of the Holy Communion, and Calvary Church merged to form one, and later the Church of the Holy Communion was sold to meet the needs of the economic crunch.
 
  Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 945 (1936) at Calvary Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Jeff Scofield)
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 945 (1936), as revised (1963-83)
Electro-pneumatic key and stop action
4 manuals, 64 stops, 68 ranks


The organ in Calvary Church was built in 1936 by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company. From 1963 to 1983, the organ was revised and enlarged by curator Randolph Gilberti and organist Calvin Hampton. Following is the revised stoplist.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintaton
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Diapason
61
4
  Principal
61
8
  Cello
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Waldflute
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Gedackt
61
 
  Fourniture IV ranks
244

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Flute Conique
73
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Diapason
73
 
  Cymbel III ranks
183
8
  Viole de Gambe
73
16
  Bombarde
73
8
  Viol Celeste
73
8
  Trompette
73
8
  Flute Celeste II ranks
134
8
  Orchestral Oboe *
73
8
  Rohrflöte
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
4
  Octave
73
4
  Clairon
73
4
  Hohlflöte
73
 
  Tremolo   
           
* Basson-Hautbois stop built by
Cavaillé-Coll for 1886 Roosevelt
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason
73
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Concert Flute
73
1 1/3
  Quint
61
8
  Holzgedackt
73
 
  Plein Jeu III ranks
183
8
  Dolcan
73
8
  Spanish Trumpet
73
8
  Dolcan Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Krummhorn
73
4
  Octave
73
4
  Tuba Clarion
73
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
 
  Tremolo  
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
 
  Harp  
2
  Blockflöte
61
 
  Celesta  

     

     
Gallery Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes
16
  Bourdon
73
    Gallery Pedal  
8
  Diapason
73
32
  Contra Bourdon [unit]
44
4
  Octave
73
16
  Bourdon
 
  Mixture III ranks
138
32
  Contra Trombone [unit]
44
8
  Tuba Magna
73
16
  Trombone 
8
  Corno di Bassetto
73
 
     
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Principal
32
4
  Fifteenth
32
16
  Flute Conique
SW
4
  Flute Conique
SW
16
  Bourdon
32
 
  Mixture III ranks
96
8
  Octave
32
 
  Fourniture II ranks
64
8
  Cello
32
16
  Bombarde [unit]
56
8
  Flute Ouverte
32
8
  Trumpet
8
  Flute Conique
SW
4
  Clarion
 
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 945 (1936)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 64 stops, 71 ranks


On April 24, 1936 Calvary Church signed a contract with the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company to build a new organ for a consideration of $18,500. This organ would replace the 1907 Skinner organ, itself a rebuild of the 1886 Roosevelt organ, and would retain 15 stops from the Roosevelt organ. Aeolian-Skinner provided a new, detached four-manual drawknob console. The contract (April 24, 1936) states, "The organ to be built, voiced and finished under the personal supervision of G. Donald Harrison, and completed to the entire satisfaction of Mr. Vernon DeTar [sic]."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes (3½" pressure; basses on 3")
16
  Quintaton
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Principal
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Diapason *
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Waldflute
61
    Cymbel IV ranks
244
8
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Trumpet
CH
4
  Octave
61
   
Chimes
CH
4
  Principal
61
    Unison Off  
4
  Flute Harmonique *
61
    3 blank knobs  

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (3½" pressure)
16
  Flute Conique
73
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Diapason *
73
16
  Bombarde [5" w.p.]
73
8
  Stopped Diapason *
73
8
  1st Trompette [5" w.p.]
73
8
  Viole de Gambe * [5" w.p.]
73
8
  2nd Trompette
73
8
  Viole Celeste * [5" w.p.]
73
8
  Vox Humana *
73
8
  Flute Celeste II ranks [5"]
134
4
  Clarion [5" w.p.]
73
4
  Octave *
73
    Tremolo   
4
  Hohlflöte *
73
 
  Swell to Swell 4'  
2
  Fifteenth
61
    Swell to Swell 16'  
    Cornet III-V ranks
269
    3 blank knobs  

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (3½" pressure)
16
  Dulciana * [1-12 stopped]
73
8
  Trumpet [7" w.p.]
73
8
  Diapason *
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Rohrflöte
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe *
73
8
  Dolcan
73
8
  French Horn [7" w.p.]
73
8
  Dolcan Celeste [TC]
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Quintadena *
73
    Harp *  
4
  Fugara *
73
 
  Celesta *  
4
  Koppelflöte
73
 
  Chimes *  
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
 
 
Choir to Choir 4'
 
2
  Blockflöte
61
    Choir to Choir 16'  
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
    3 blank knobs  

     

     
Gallery Organ Manual IV) – 61 notes (console preparation only)
    12 stops          
    plus 3 blank knobs          

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (5" pressure)
32
  Contra Bourdon **
12
4
  Flute Harmonique *
32
16
  Principal (metal) *
32
4
  Flute Conique
SW
16
  Open Diapason (wood) *
32
4
  Lieblich Gedackt [ext.] *
12
16
  Bourdon *
32
    Mixture III ranks
96
16
  Flute Conique
SW
    Fourniture II ranks
64
16
  Violone *
32
16
  Bombarde
32
16
  Lieblich Gedackt * ***
20
8
  Trumpet [ext.]
12
8
  Octave *
32
4
  Clarion [ext.]
12
8
  Flute Ouverte [ext. O.D.]
12
    Chimes
CH
8
  Flute Conique
SW
   
3 blank knobs
8
  Lieblich Gedackt [ext.] *
12
   
* retained from old organ
4
  Fifteenth *
32
** 1-12 resultant (12 sep. quints); 13-32 fr. Open Diap.
           
*** 1-12 from CH Dulciana
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Great to Pedal 8'   Gallery to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Gallery to Pedal 8', 4'   Gallery to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
             
Adjustable Combinations
   
Gallery Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb)
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-0 (thumb)
Gallery Pedal Pistons 1-2 (toe)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
  General Cancel (thumb)
  Set (thumb)
             
Mechanicals
    Gallery Expression   All 16' Manual Stops Off
    Swell Expression   All intermanual and manual to Pedal unison couplers controlled by reversibles
    Choir Expression  
    Crescendo Pedal  
    Sforzando Pedal (thumb & toe)   Pedal Divide (coupler tablet)
 
Ernest M. Skinner Company
Boston, Mass. – Op. 151 (1907)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 42 stops, 45 ranks


In 1907, Ernest Skinner rebuilt the 1886 Roosevelt organ, providing a new console with 61-note manuals (although the upper three notes were "dummies") and a 30-note pedalboard. The following specification was recorded in an organ notebook by Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), noted concert organist of the early 20th century. Click here to view the notebook entry.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes (61-note keyboard), partially enclosed with Choir
16
  Double Diapason
58
4
  Harmonic Flute *
58
8
  1st Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Octave Quint *
58
8
  2nd Diapason
58
2
  Super Octave *
58
8
  Viol d'Gamba *
58
    Mixture IV ranks *
232
8
  Doppel Flöte *
58
8
  Trumpet *
58
4
  Octave *
58
   
* enclosed in Choir box
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes (61-note keyboard), enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Flageolet
58
8
  Diapason
58
16
  Fagotto
58
8
  Voix Celeste *
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
8
  Aeoline
58
    Tremulant  
4
  Octave
58
    Celesta  
4
  Hohl Flöte
58
 
 
* labeled Violin Diapason

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes (61-note keyboard), enclosed
16
  Contra Gamba
58
4
  Fugara
58
8
  Diapason
58
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
58
8
  Quintadena
58
    Dolce Cornet III ranks
174
8
  Concert Flute
58
8
  Clarinet
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Ochestral Oboe
58
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
    Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
32
  Contra Bourdon **
12
16
  Lieblich Gedackt
SW
16
  Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
16
  Dulciana
30
   
** notes 1-12 Quint; 13-30 from Open
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great 4'  
    Great to Pedal       Choir to Great 16'  
    Choir to Pedal       Swell to Pedal 4'  
    Swell to Great       Swell 4'  
    Choir to Great       Choir 4'  
    Swell to Choir          
               
Accessories
    5 adj. pistons to Swell       Pedal on Swell combs. On/Off
    5 adj. pistons to Great       Pedal on Great combs. On/Off
    5 adj. pistons to Choir       Pedal on Choir combs. On/Off
    2 foot pistons to Swell          
    2 foot pistons to Choir       Balanced swell to Swell
    Great to Pedal reversible       Balanced swell to Great & Choir
    Sforzando Pedal       Balanced Crescendo pedal
 
  Organ case at Calvary Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Ken Stein)
Hilborne and Frank Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 374 (1886)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 42 stops, 52 ranks – Chancel
3 manuals, 41 stops, 49 ranks – West End
Total if completed: 83 stops, 101 ranks





The following specification was recorded by F.R. Webber (1887-1963), whose "Organ Scrapbooks" are in the possession of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Webber writes: "Only the Chancel division was installed in 1888. It was opened April 10, 1888. --Stop-list from the dedicatory folder."

It is often reported that this organ included three stops built by Cavaillé-Coll, organbuilder of France: Trompette, Basson-Hautbois, and Voix humaine. Click here to view the notebook entry.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
     Chancel – Cantoris side               West End  
16
  Double Diapason
58
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
8
  First Open Diapason
58
8
  First Open Diapason
58
8
  Second Open Diapason
58
8
  Second Open Diapason
58
8
  Viola di Gamba *
58
8
  Viola di Gamba +
58
8
  Doppel Flöte *
58
8
  Dulciana +
58
4
  Octave *
58
8
  Principal Flöte +
58
4
  Flute Harmoniquie *
58
4
  Octave +
58
2 2/3
  Octave Quint *
58
4
  Flute Harmonique +
58
2
  Super Octave *
58
2 2/3
  Octave Quint +
58
    Mixture IV ranks *
232
2
  Super Octave +
58
8
  Trumpet *
58
    Mixture III ranks +
174
   
* enclosed in Choir box
    Acuta III ranks +
174
       
8
  Trumpet +
58
           
+ enclosed in Solo box
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
     Chancel – Decanis side                 West End  
16
  Bourdon
58
16
  Bourdon (treble and bass)
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
8
  Violin Diapason
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Spitz flöte
58
8
  Vox Celestis
58
8
  Aeoline
58
8
  Flauto Traverso
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
4
  Octave
58
4
  Octave
58
4
  Hohl Flöte
58
4
  Wald Flöte
58
2
  Flageolet
58
2
  Flautina
58
    Cornet III-IV-V ranks
230
    Cornet III-IV-V ranks
230
16
  Contra Fagotto
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
4
  Clarion
58
    Tremulant  
    Tremulant          
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes, enclosed
     Chancel – Cantoris side               West End (Solo Organ)  
16
  Contra Gamba
58
8
  Stentorphone
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
8
  Violoncello
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Philomela
58
8
  Concert Flute
58
4
  Hohl Pfeife
58
8
  Quintadena
58
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
58
4
  Fugara
58
16
  Tuba Major
58
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
58
2
  Piccolo Harmonique
58
8
  Cor Anglais
58
    Dolce Cornet V ranks
290
4
  Tuba Clarion
58
8
  Orchestral Oboe
58
    Tremulant  
8
  Clarinet
58
       
    Tremulant          
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
     Chancel – Decanis side                 West End  
32
  Contra Bass [Resultant]
32
  Double Open Diapason
30
16
  Open Diapason
30
16
  Open Diapason
30
16
  Dulciana
30
16
  Violone
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Violoncello
30
8
  Violoncello
30
32
  Contra Bombard
30
16
  Trombone
30
16
  Trombone
30
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great       Swell to Pedal  
    Choir to Great       Great to Pedal  
    Swell to Choir       Choir to Pedal  
    Swell octaves on itself          
    Choir octaves on itself          
               
Automatic Adjustable Combination Pistons
Four over Great keys, affecting Chancel Great and Pedal stops and SG, CG, SP, GP, CP
Four over Great keys, affecting West End Great and Pedal stops and SG, CG, SP, GP, CP
Four over Swell keys, affecting Chancel Swell and Pedal stops and SS4, SP, GP, CP, trem.
Four over Swell keys, affecting West End Swell and Pedal stops and SS4, SP, GP, CP, trem.
Four over Choir keys, affecting Chancel Choir and Pedal stops and SC, CC4, SP, GP, CP, trem.
Four over Choir keys, affecting West End Solo and Pedal stops and SC, CC4, SP, GP, CP, trem.
             
Miscellaneous
    4 ventil stops       1 engineer's signal
    7 ventil pedals       Electric action  
    2 wind indicators       Detached console
    2 belt shifters       4 hp Baldwin Gas Engine
 
  Richard M. Ferris Organ (1847), originally in Calvary Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Victor Hoyt)
 
Ferris Organ at Round Lake
William H. Davis and Richard M. Ferris
New York City (1847); reb. Levi U. Stuart (1868)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 32 stops, 40 ranks


The Davis & Ferris organ was built at a cost of $2,500 and was installed in a case having three large, gothic-framed flats separated by two smaller flats of only three pipes each. The console was noted for drawknobs arranged in the shape of a cross, allegedly at the request of the rector. In 1868, Levi Stuart (Ferris' half-brother) changed the manuals to C-compass and added a 25-note pedalboard. About 1884, Calvary Church moved the choir from the gallery to a divided chancel, at which time the new Roosevelt organ was ordered. The Ferris organ was sold for $1,500 to the Round Lake, New York Association, a Methodist camp meeting group, for installation in their large auditorium where it exists today.
               
Great Organ – 59 notes (GG-f3)
8
  First Open Diapason
59
2 2/3
  Twelfth
59
8
  Second Open Diapason
59
2
  Fifteenth
59
8
  Stopped Diapason
59
    Sesquialtera III ranks
177
4
  First Principal
59
    Mixture III ranks
177
4
  Second Principal
59
8
  Trumpet
59
4
  Night Horn [TC]
42
4
  Clarion
59

     

     
Swell Organ – 42 notes (C-f3, GG-B permanently coupled to Choir), enclosed
16
  Bourdon
42
    Sesquialtera III ranks
84
8
  Open Diapason
42
 
  Cornet II ranks
84
8
  Dulciana
42
8
  Trumpet
42
8
  Stopped Diapason
42
8
  Hautboy
42
4
  Principal
42
4
  Clarion
42

     

     
Choir Organ – 59 notes (GG-f3)
8
  Open Diapason
59
4
  Flute
59
8
  Dulciana
59
2
  Picolo [sic] [TC]
42
8
  Stopped Diapason
59
 
  Furniture II [from G]
94
8
  Principal
59
8
  Cremona [from C]
54
 
             
Pedal Organ – 18 notes (GG-c)
(16)
  Twenty-four foot stop
18
       
(8)
  Twelve-foot stop
18
       
 
Organ in second church, located at Fourth Avenue and 22nd Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1844)
Mechanical stop and key action


For their second church, the congregation purchased an organ from Henry Erben for $725, who allowed $200 in trade for the Wagstaff organ from the previous building. Erben's organ was housed in a mahogany case and had composition pedals. Only six months after the organ's installation, Erben was called back to replace a set of defective reed pipes, for which he charged the church $25.

The specification of this organ has not yet been located.
 
Organ in first church, located at Fourth Avenue and 30th Street:

Thomas Wagstaff
New York City (1836)
Mechanical stop and key action


Calvary Church purchased an organ in December 1836 from Thomas Wagstaff for the sum of $325, which included tuning for the first year. The specification of this organ has not yet been located.
 
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolianskinner.organsociety.org/Specs/Op00945.html
     Calvary/St. George's Church web site: http://www.calvarystgeorges.org/
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Farnam, Lynnwood. "Organ Notebook," pp. 1053 (specification of Skinner organ, Op. 151). John de Lancie Library, The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia; Sally Branca, Archivist. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Ochse, Orpha. The History of the Organ in the United States. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975.
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977.
     Stuart, L.U. "Church and Parlor Organs" catalog (c.1870s). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Contract and Specifications (Apr. 24, 1936) and Factory Specifications and chest layouts (Apr. 30, 1936) of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 945 (1936).
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Roosevelt organ, Op. 374 (1886). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     Glück, Sebastian. Postcard (ca. 1880s) of Calvary Church.
     Hoyt, Victor: The Tracker, Vo. 50, No. 1 (Winter 2006). Photo of Davis & Ferris console. Used by permission.
     Scofield, Jeff. Console of Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 945 (1936).
     Stein, Ken. Church exterior and chancel organ case.