Christ Church (Protestant Episcopal) on Broadway at 71st Street - New York City
Click on images to enlarge
Christ Church
(Protestant Episcopal)

Broadway at 71st Street
New York, N.Y. 10023


Organ Specifications:
Broadway at 71st Street (1890-1975)
III/29 M.P. Möller, Op. 4587 (1926)
III/33 Ernest M. Skinner & Company, Op. 114 (1904)
III/40 Henry Erben (1865) – moved from old church
369 Fifth Avenue at 35th Street (1859-1890)
• I/9 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 238 (1888) – Chancel
III/40 Henry Erben (1865) – Gallery
• unknown
7 West 18th Street at Fifth Avenue (1854-1859)
II/17 Hall & Labagh (1848) – moved from previous building
79 Anthony Street near Worth Street (1823-1854)
Second building (1848-1854)
II/17 Hall & Labagh (1848)
First building (1823-burned 1847)
II/16 Henry Corrie (1823) – burned with church (1847)
49 Ann Street between William and Nassau Streets (1793-1821)
II/16 John Geib (1801)


Christ Church (Episcopal) on Anthony Street - New York City  
Anthony Street  
Christ Church was organized in 1793, when the increased attendance at Trinity Church necessitated additional accomodations, and was thus the second parish of the Episcopal Church in New York City. The first church building was located on Ann Street, between William and Nassau Streets. The Rev. John Pilmore, D.D., who was one of the first Wesleyan itinerants sent over from England to begin the John-Street Church, joined the Episcopalians and led the new Christ Church congregation. Over the next few decades the congregation increased and flourished, and in 1823 a larger church, of Gothic design, was built on Anthony Street, near Worth. On July 30, 1847, the church was destroyed by fire, and the congregation worshipped in temporary quarters in the Minerva Rooms at 406 Broadway until the church could be rebuilt. The second church on Anthony Street was completed and consecrated on June 29, 1848.

  Christ Church (Episcopal) on 18th Street and Fifth Avenue - New York City
  18th Street at Fifth Avenue
In the early 1850s, residents began a rapid exodus to new housing farther uptown, and the church was suddenly in an undiserable location. In April, 1852, a committee was appointed to consider the removal of the church to a new site, resulting in the sale of the Anthony Street property and the purchase of four lots on the north side of 18th Street, west of Fifth Avenue. A new church that could accomodate 850 was erected at a cost $55,000, including the land. Bishop Henry Codman Potter preached at the consecration service on Sunday, June 30, 1854.

Christ Church (Episcopal) on Fifth Avenue and 35th Street - New York City (F. Mellenburg)  
Fifth Avenue at 35th Street  
In July, 1858, only four years after occupying their new church on 18th Street, the congregation moved again when they purchased the former Fifth Avenue Baptist Church on Fifth Avenue at 35th Street. At the time, Christ Church numbered about 500 members, with 30 Sunday-school teachers leading about 200 scholars. The 18th Street church and rectory were acquired by St. Ann's Church for the Deaf, which would remain there until 1898. Christ Church occupied their Fifth Avenue edifice for about 30 years until the surrounding area had become congested with business and commerce.

In 1890, Christ Church relocated again, this time to the northeast corner of 71st Street and the Boulevard (later known as Broadway). Architect Charles Coolidge Haight won the competition to design the new church edifice, which was inspired by the Romanesque with details of Normandy. Due to financial restraints, the church was not built as originally designed, and the massive tower planned for the corner was scaled down so that it appeared to be "a Victorian gazebo in the sky." The salmon-colored brick building was trimmed with dark red terra cotta, and had a roof of glazed and corrugated black tile. The austere building measured only 57 by 117 feet and seated 800 people. By 1920, the neighborhood was changing and the wealthier parishioners were moving out of the area. To alleviate the large debt, the church leased a part of its Broadway frontage which contained a beautiful garden and chapel. It was further necessary in 1925 to sell the rest of the Broadway entrance and remove the steps and towers shown in the photo at the top. While the Lester Building at 2061 Broadway was being constructed, a fire broke out in the remaining church, causing damage that was repaired at a cost of $65,000. A new entrance to the church was created on 71st Street, and the rebuilt church was consecrated by Bishop Manning in 1926.

In the 1960s, many of the members were forced to move when an urban-renewal project cleared area brownstones and tenements for construction of the new Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 1975, Christ Church merged with and to nearby St. Stephen's Church on West 69th Street, forming Christ and St. Stephen's Church. For a time, the old Christ Church on 71st Street was used by the Bible Deliverance Evangelical Church, but the building was ultimately razed to make way for the Lincoln Park apartments.
               
  Christ Church (Episcopal) on Broadway at 71st Street - New York City
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 4587 (1926)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 41 stops, 29 ranks





In 1926, a new organ was built by M.P. Möller of Hagerstown, Md. The Factory Specifications (Jan. 15, 1925) show that the organ was installed in two chambers and there was a three-manual drawknob console with sloping manuals. This organ was removed when the congregation merged with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir (5" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Octave *
73
8
  First Open Diapason
61
16
  Tuba Profunda * [12" w.p.]
85
8
  Second Open Diapason
61
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
8
  Doppel Flute *
73
4
  Tuba Clarion
8
  Gemshorn *
73
    Tremulant  
4
  Harmonic Flute *
73
   
* enclosed in Choir Expression Chamber

 

     

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
73
2
  Lieblich Piccolo
61
8
  Geigen Principal
73
16
  Contra Fagotto
85
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
8
  Oboe [ext. Fagotto]
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Cornopean
85
8
  Viole Celeste
73
4
  Clarion [ext. Cornopean]
8
  Echo Salicional
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
4
  Flute Traverso
73
    Tremulant  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" wind pressure)
8
  Viole d'Gamba
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Quintadena
73
8
  Tuba
GT
8
  Concert Flute
73
    Dulciana Mixture III ranks
183
8
  Dulciana
73
    Tremulant  
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
       

      

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (5" wind pressure)
16
  Open Diapason
44
8
  Flauta Dolce [sic]
SW
8
  Octave [ext.]
16
  Fagotta
SW
16
  Bourdon
GT
16
  Tuba Profunda
GT
8
  Bass Flute
GT
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
GT
4
  Flute
GT
4
  Clarion
GT
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
    "A" Chime  
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Great to Great 16', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8, 4'   Swell to Swell 16', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Choir to Choir 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Great Unison Separation *
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell Unison Separation *
    Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'   Choir Unison Separation *
    Choir to Swell 16', 8', 4'  
* in jambs right side
               
Mechanicals
    Great Tremulant       Crescendo Indicator  
    Swell Tremulant       Sforzando Indicator Light
    Choir Tremulant          
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (toe)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
  General Release (thumb)
  Coupler Cancel (thumb)
  Sforzando Cancel (thumb)
         
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Great & Choir Pedal   Sforzando Reversible toe piston
    Grand Crescendo Pedal      
               
Organ in church located on Broadway at 71st Street:

Ernest M. Skinner & Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 114 (1904) – rebuild existing organ
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 31 stops, 33 ranks


In 1904, the Ernest M. Skinner Company was contracted to rebuild the existing organ, which we have now concluded was built by Henry Erben for the previous church. The page annotating "Details of Additions and Improvement" specified that the present motor would be replaced with a larger one that could increase the pressure by at least 50%, and that the entire organ would be revoiced on the increased pressure. Skinner would revoice the Trumpet, Cornopean, and Pedal Trombone, and replace the Mixture and Twelfth with a new Open Diapason. A new Doppel Flute would replace the Great Melodia, and a new Salicional and Voix Celestes would be added to the Swell in place of the Viol d'Amour and Principal. The old Clarion would be discarded, "as it puts the organ out of balance." New reservoirs would be added as necessary to make the wind steady and all sufficient. A new pneumatic stop action would be installed with suitable combinations, along with a Crescendo Pedal. The combinations would include: Swell, four and release; Great, four and release; Choir, three and release; General release; and Pedal release.

The Skinner contract did not include a revised stoplist, but the following specifications were recorded at an unknown time by Louis F. Mohr & Co., a longtime organ service concern in the area. Mohr's typewritten specification has an interesting typo: a "Flute d'Chinnisee" in the Swell Organ, which of course was actually a Flute a Chiminee. Such a stop was typically found in organs built by J.H. & C.S. Odell, so it is possible (but not verified) that the Odells moved the Erben organ to the new church and substituted a new flute rank in the Swell Organ.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  First Open Diapason
56
4
  Night Horn
56
8
  Second Open Diapason
56
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Great Flute [Doppel Flute]
56
8
  Trumpet  
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
56
4
  Flute d'Chinnisee [sic]
56
8
  Open Diapason
56
    Cornet III ranks
168
8
  Dulciana
56
8
  Cornopean
56
8
  Salicional
56
8
  Oboe
56
8
  [Voix] Celestes
56
    [Tremulant]  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Dulciana
56
4
  Wald Flute
56
8
  Keraulophon
56
2
  Flageolet
56
8
  Clarabella
56
8
  Cremona
56
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
16
  Contra Gamba
30
       
               
Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-0 (thumb)
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Choir to Pedal   Swell to Great 16'
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great 4'
    Choir to Great   Great to Great 4'
    Swell to Choir    
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Crescendo Pedal      
               
  Hilborne L. Roosevelt organ, P. 238 (1888) in Christ Church (Episcopal) - New York City
Organ in church located at Fifth Avenue and 35th Street:

Hilborne L. Rooseve
New York City – Opus 238 (1888)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 9 stops


A one-manual organ built in 1888 by Hilborne L. Roosevelt was installed on the left side of the chancel. It is possible that this organ was provided to accompany a chancel choir. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Organ in church located at Fifth Avenue and 35th Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1865)
Mechanical action originally
3 manuals, 37 stops, 40 ranks


In 1865, Henry Erben installed a three manual organ in Christ Church on Fifth Avenue and 35th Street. While the specifications for this organ have not yet been located, the stoplist below has been reconstructed by Larry Trupiano, based on a specification recorded on an unknown date by Louis F. Mohr & Co., and the Ernest M. Skinner contract (1904) for a rebuilding of the organ. The Erben organ was moved (c.1890) to the new church on Broadway and 71st Street, where it was installed in a chamber on the right side of the chancel. The large chamber had two openings into the chancel, and one opening into the nave. Mr. Trupiano recalls seeing graffiti near the chamber nave opening that indicated the relocated organ was still pumped by hand. It would seem likely that the Erben organ was rebuilt with electro- or tubular-pneumatic action for its new location.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
56
4
  Night Horn
56
8
  Open Diapason
56
3
  Twelfth
56
8
  Gamba
56
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Melodia
56
    Sesquialtera (2 ranks?)
112
8
  Stopd Diapason
56
8
  Trumpet
56
4
  Principal
56
4
  Clarion
56
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
56
4
  Flute
56
8
  Open Diapason
56
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Viol d'Amour
56
    Cornet III ranks
168
8
  Dulciana
56
8
  Cornopean
56
8
  Stopd Diapason
56
8
  Oboe
56
4
  Principal
56
    Tremulant  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Dulciana
56
4
  Wald Flute
56
8
  Keraulophon
56
2
  Flageolet
56
8
  Stopd Diapason
56
8
  Cremona
56
8
  Clarabella
56
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
16
  Contra Gamba (Bell Gamba)
30
       
               
Organ in second building located at 79 Anthony Street; moved to 7 West 18th Street:

Hall & Labagh
New York City (1848)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 17 ranks


This organ was built in 1848 by Hall & Labagh of New York City and installed in the second Christ Church building on Anthony Street. In 1854 the organ was moved to the new church on 18th Street.

According to the American Musical Directory of 1861, the organ had "2 banks keys, 24 stops, 2 octaves pedals" and was "Built by Hall & Labagh, in 1848."

In 1874, the organ was moved by J.H. & C.S. Odell (as Op. 136) to the [Reformed] P.E. Church of the Mediator in Brooklyn. The Agreement (May 2, 1874) between Odell and the church states that Odell would provide "new keys, new couplers, new action, new case, and new front pipes handsomely decorated" and set it up in the church for a consideration of $2,300, less $550 for the organ then in the church. Following is the specification of the Hall & Labagh organ as given in the Agreement:
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 54 notes
8
  Open Diapason
54
4
  Flute (wood)
54
8
  Viol de Gamba [TC]
42
2 2/3
  Twelfth
54
8
  Stop'd Diapason Bass
12
2
  Fifteenth
54
8
  Stop'd Diapason Treble [TC]
46
8
  Trumpet
54
4
  Principal
54
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 54 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon Bass
12
8
  Stop'd Diapason Treble [TC]
42
16
  Double Diapason [TC]
42
4
  Principal [TC]
42
8
  Open Diapason [TC]
42
4
  Principal Bass
12
8
  Dulciana [TC]
42
    Cornet (2 ranks)
126
8
  Stop'd Diapason Bass
12
8
  Hautboy [TC]
42

     

     
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Grand Double Open Diapason
25
       
               
Couplers &c
    Swell to Great       Great to Pedal  
    Swell to Pedal       Bellows Signal  
               
Organ in first church building located at 79 Anthony Street:

Henry Corrie
New York City (1823)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 18 stops, 16 ranks


This organ burned with the church in 1847.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes [GGG – f3 (no GGG#)]
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Stop Diapason
58
   
Sesquialtera Bass   }
174?
Cornet Treble   }
8
  Dulceano
58
   
4
  Principal
58
8
  Trumpet
58
3
  Twelfth
58
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 37 notes [same as Great, but only from tenor f – f3], enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
37
4
  Principal
37
8
  Stop Diapason
37
8
  Clarionet
37
8
  Dulceano
37
8
  Trumpet
37
               
Choir Organ Bass (Manual II) – 21 notes [bass for Swell stops, from GGG-tenor e], unenclosed
8
  Dulceano
21
       
8
  Stop Diapason
21
       
4
  Principal
21
       
               
Pedal Organ – 13 notes [GGG - GG]
    Permanently coupled to Manual I (Great)  
    No pedal pipes listed  
                
Organ in church located at 49 Ann Street:

John Geib
New York City (1800-01)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops, 16 ranks


Two pair of bellows, with an elegant mahogany case, gild front ornaments, 10 by 15 feet – Duble GG (begings) in front. One Sett of keys for Great organ – one set for choir & swell. The Cost 1200.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 47 notes [GG – f3]
1.
  Stopdiapason throughaute from duble GG to F in alt
2.
  Stopd          
3.
  principal          
4.
  12th          
5.
  15th          
6.
  Tiers          
7.
 
Cornet treble }
3 ranks
Sesq. bass }
         
8.
           
9.
  Trumpet — throughaute as befor      
               
Choir & Swell (Manual II) – 47 notes [GG – f3]
1.
  Stopdiapason in choir, Bass          
2.
  Flute throughaute          
3.
  15th – do          
    Stopdiapason Treble Swell          
4.
  Dulciana – Swell          
5.
  princ. – Swell          
6.
  Vaschumana – Swell          
               
Sources:
     American Organ Archives of the Organ Historical Society, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Ernest M. Skinner & Company organ, Op. 114 (1904). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Booth, Mary Louise. History of the City of New York. New York: W.R.C. Clark, 1867.
     "Christ Church.; Rev. Hugh Miller Thompson's Congregation; The Second Episcopal Parish in New-York; Its History Since 1792," The New York Times (Sep. 28, 1874).
     "Consecration of Christ Church," The New York Times (July 1, 1854).
     Davies, William J. "Historical Sketch of Christ Church, New York City," The Magazine of American History, Vol. XIX, No. 1 (January 1888). New York City.
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications (undated) of organ in building on Broadway; courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977, p.192.
     "Old Christ Church Gone," The New York Times (Dec. 18, 1890).
     The Lyre (October 1824). Specifications of Henry Corrie organ (1823). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Salwen, Peter. Upper West Side Story: A History and Guide. New York: Abbeville Press, 1989.
     Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York City: The Monacelli Press, 1999.
     Stout, Edward Millington, III. Page from E.M. Skinner contract (1904) to rebuild existing organ. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Agreement (May 2, 1874) for J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 136 – the rebuilt 1848 Hall & Labagh organ.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of M.P. Möller organ, Op. 4587 (1923).
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence and reconstructed specifications of Henry Erben organ (1865).

Illustrations:
     Booth, Mary Louise. History of the City of New York. Drawing of Christ Church on Anthony Street.
     The Episcopal Diocese of New York Archives. 1920s exterior and color interior of church on Broadway.
     Mellenburg, F. Undated print of Christ Church on Fifth Avenue. Courtesy Larry Trupiano
     Trupiano, Larry. Line drawing of Christ Church (1893).