First Presbyterian Church - New York City (Photo: John Rust)
 

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The First Presbyterian Church

12 West 12th Street at Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10011
http://www.fpcnyc.org

Chapels and Lecture Room

Organ Specifications:
Alexander Chapel (since 1937)
II/6 Sebastian Glück, Op. 8 (2004)
• II/ Allen Organ Company electronic (1970s)
Original Chapel/Lecture Room:
II/7 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Op. 30010 (1938)
II/12 Methuen Organ Company (1897)

See also the Sanctuary Organs.

First Presbyterian Church has had two chapels over the years. The original chapel (which later functioned as a social hall) was located in the 1892 South Wing. In this room the Aeolian-Skinner organ was installed in 1938. Whenever services were held in the more intimate Alexander Chapel across the hall, the doors to both rooms would be opened so that the organ could be heard.

In 1937, the pastor's study in the South Wing was reconfigured to become Alexander Chapel. Decorated in the Tudor Gothic style with Scottish symbols of thistle, heather and ivy, the chapel features a gilded ceiling, oak-paneled walls and a slate floor. Three stained glass windows depict the cathedral on the isle of Iona, the Ionic cross of St. Martin set against a Hebridean landscape, and a young Crusader setting forth from his Scottish homeland. Alexander Chapel comfortably seats about fifty people.
           

Gluck Organ, Op. 8 (2004) in Alexander Chapel - First Presbyterian Church - New York City (photo: Len Levasseur)   Gluck Organ, Op. 8 (2004) in Alexander Chapel - First Presbyterian Church - New York City (photo: Len Levasseur)
Organ in Alexander Chapel:

Sebastian Glück
New York City – Opus 8 (2004)
Electric expansion chamber action
Solid State combination action
2 manuals, 21 stops, 6 ranks





The organ in Alexander Chapel was built in 2004 by Glück New York of New York City. It replaces an Allen electronic instrument, and was the gift of Mrs. Betty Jones in memory of her late husband, Rees. The pipework is fashioned of red oak, poplar, walnut, planed 50% tin, and flamed copper for the basses of the 8’ Dulciana which flank the main soundboard. The 16’ Double Dulciana utilizes free reeds in the manner of a 19th century French harmonium, with a seamless transition to the bottom octave. An unusual tonal feature is the 4/5’ Choral Bass which, when drawn with the 4’ and 2’ flutes, provides a horn-like, reedy cantus firmus voice.

Although the organ’s pipework is unenclosed, a balanced expression pedal is provided for practice purposes.

The organ is tempered in Werkmeister III at 440, and is voiced on 75mm wind pressure throughout.
 
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason *
4
  Chimney Flute
8
  Dulciana
2 2/3
  Nazard [c13-g56]
8
  Stopped Diapason
2
  Recorder
4
  Principal
1 3/5
  Tierce [c13-d51]
         
* 1-12 play Dulciana + St. Diapason
Choir Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
8
  Dulciana
4
  Nason Flute
8
  Chimney Flute [1-12 St. Diap.]
2
  Fifteenth
4
  Dulcet      
 
   

   
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Dulciana [1-12 free reeds]
4
  Fifteenth
16
  Bourdon
4
  Chimney Flute
8
  Dulciana
2
  Night Horn
8
  Stopped Flute
4/5
  Choral Bass
           
Adjustable Combinations
   
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb & toe)
           
Accessories
    Balanced Expression Pedal     Tremulant to entire organ
           
Stop Analysis
     
Pipes
16
  Dulciana [1-12 free reeds]
68
16
  Bourdon/Stopped Diapason
68
4
  Chimney Flute
56
4
  Principal
56
1 1/3   Quint Flute
44
4/5
  Tierce [c13-d51]
    39
   
Total
331
           
Organ in Alexander Chapel:

Allen Organ Company
Macungie, Penn. (1970s)
Electronic tonal production
2 manuals


The original organ in Alexander Chapel was an electronic instrument built by the Allen Organ Company and installed in the 1970s. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
  Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 30010 (1938) formerly in the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church - New York City (photo: The American Organist)
Organ in earlier chapel:

Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 30010 (1938)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 14 stops, 7 ranks, 458 pipes


Aeolian-Skinner installed this small organ in the church's original chapel, since converted for another use. The entire organ, except for the Diapason, was enclosed in one swell box. Known as the William C. Carl Memorial Organ, funding was provided by gifls of the friends, graduates and pupils of the late Dr. Carl, who served as organist and choirmaster from 1892-1936, and who founded the Guilmant Organ School, which was located at First Presbyterian Church. This organ was removed when the Austin organ was installed in the Sanctuary.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason *
61
8
  Salicional
SW
8
  Gedeckt
73
4
  Gedeckt [ext.]
8
  Gamba
61
   
* unenclosed

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gedeckt
GT
4
  Gedeckt
GT
8
  Gamba
GT
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Salicional
73
  Tremulant  
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
61
     

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon **
32
8
  Gedeckt
GT
16
  Gedeckt [ext. GT]
12
     
           
** pipework from unidentified old organ
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Great 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Fixed Combinations
   
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
               
Reversibles
    Sforzando (toe)      
               
Expression
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Register Crescendo Pedal      
         
Organ in earlier chapel/lecture room:

Methuen Organ Company
Methuen, Mass. (1897)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 12 stops, 12 ranks


In 1897, Edward Searles of the Methuen Organ Company, who had a residence across the street from the church, built a two-manual organ for the Lecture Room (chapel). The following stoplist is from a printed leaflet in the Archives of the Organ Historial Society, Princeton, N.J. Compasses and pipe counts were not given but are suggested below, based on a similar 1897 Methuen organ in St. Paul's Methodist Church, Lawrence, Mass., in which only the Great 8' Open Diapason was full compass, and all other 8' stops began at Tenor C.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
8
  Stopped Diapason Bass
12
8
  Viol di Gamba [TC?]
49
8
  Dulciana [TC?]
49
8
  Melodia [TC]
49
4
  Octave
61

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason [TC?]
49
8
  Dolcissimo [TC?]
49
8
  Stopped Diapason Treble
49
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
8
  Stopped Diapason Bass
12
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Salicional [TC?]
49
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
30
   
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Forte   Swell Forte
    Great Mezzo   Swell Mezzo
    Fortissimo   Balanced Swell Pedal
           
Sources:
     The American Organist (June 1938). Specifications of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 30010 (1938). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     First Presbyterian Church web site: http://www.fpcnyc.org
     Fowler, Dorothy Ganfield. A City Church: The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, 1716-1976. The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, 1981.
     Glück New York web site: http://www.glucknewyork.com
     Lewis, James. Mr. Searles and the Organ. Richmond, Va.: OHS Press, 2010.
     Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Methuen Organ Company organ (1897). Courtesy Bynum Petty.

Illustrations:
     The American Organist (June 1938). Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 30010 (1938).
     Levasseur, Len. Sebastian Glück Organ, Op. 8 (2004).