Chapel of the Good Shepherd, General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: John Rust)

 
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The General Theological Seminary
(Episcopal)

175 Ninth Avenue at 20th Street New York, N.Y. 10011
http://www.gts.edu

Organ Specifications:
Chapel of the Good Shepherd (since 1888):
III/51 Holtkamp Organ Company, Op. 1712 (1958, 1996)
II/16 Frank Roosevelt, Op. 385 (1887)
Earlier Chapel or Meeting Room:
• I/10 William A. Johnson, Op. 155 (1864)
• Henry Erben (1838?)

Chartered by the Episcopal Church in 1817, the General Theological Seminary was built with the support of Trinity Church, most notably Vestryman Jacob Sherred, and Clement Clarke Moore, best known for penning "Twas the night before Christmas." Moore offered 60 lots of his rural Chelesa estate on the condition that a seminary be built there. An East Building was the first to open in 1827, followed by a West Building erected in 1836. The Rev. Eugene Augustus Hoffman, who graduated from General in 1851, became its first dean in 1879. Hoffman endowed the chair of pastoral theology with $80,000, and on the death of his father, Samuel Yerplanek Hoffman, his mother contributed $125,000 for the building of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd as a memorial to her husband.

The Chapel of the Good Shepherd was designed by Charles Coolidge Haight in the collegiate-Gothic style, and was built between 1886-88 as the centerpiece of the seminary. Haight's father, the Rev. Benjamin I. Haight, was the first rector of St. Peter's Church, located a block away on West 20th Street. The chapel's tower contains a set of 15 tubular chimes, manufactured in 1922 by the Walter H. Durfee Company of Providence, R.I. The seminary's Guild of Chimers ring the chimes mechanically each morning and evening.
               

Holtkamp Organ (1958/1996) at Chapel of the Good Shepherd, General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: John Rust)
Holtkamp Organ Company
Cleveland, Ohio – Opus 1712 (1958, 1996)
Electro-pneumatic key and stop action
Solid-state combination action
3 manuals, 42 stops, 51 ranks


Chapel of the Good Shepherd, General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: John Rust)  
The present organ in the Church of the Good Shepherd was designed by Walter Holtkamp and installed in 1958 by the Holtkamp Organ Company. In 1996, the organ was refurbished by the Holtkamp Company.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintadena
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Principal
61
 1 1/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Gedackt
61
    Mixture (IV ranks)
244
4
  Octave
61
 8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Spitzflöte
61
       
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Rohrflöte
61
 
  Plein Jeu (IV ranks)
244
8
  Gambe
61
 
  Cymbal (III ranks)
183
8
  Voix Celeste [FF] *
56
16
  Dulzian
61
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Oboe
61
4
  Flute 
61
4
  Clarion 
61
2
  Piccolo
61
 
 
* added in 1996
 
     
 
     
Positiv Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Copula
56
2
  Blockflöte
56
4
  Praestant
56
 1 3/5
  Tierce
56
4
  Rohrflöte
56
    Fourniture (III ranks)
168
2 2/3
  Nazard
56
8
  Cromorne
56
2
  Octave
56
 
  Tremolo  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
4
  Flute
32
16
  Principal
32
    Mixture (III ranks)
96
16
  Sub Bass
32
16
  Posaune
32
16
  Quintadena
GT
16
  Dulzian
SW
8
  Octave
32
8
  Trumpet
32
8
  Gedackt
32
4
  Schalmey
32
4
  Choralbass
32
 
     
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Swell to Pedal   Positiv to Great
    Positiv to Pedal   Swell to Positiv
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Great 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Swell 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Positiv 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Pedal 1-2-3-4-5 (toe)
General 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
  Capture Piston
  General Cancel Piston
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)    
    Full Organ (toe)    
               
Expression
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal      
       
 
     

Chapel of the Good Shepherd, General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: John Rust)

 

Holtkamp Organ (1958/1996) at Chapel of the Good Shepherd, General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: John Rust)

                 
  1889 photo of the Frank Roosevelt organ, Op. 385 (1887) in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd (1886) at The General Theological Seminary - New York City (photo: MCNY)
  1889 Photo of Roosevelt Organ
Frank Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 385 (1887)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 14 stops, 16 ranks



The original organ in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd was built in 1887 by Frank Roosevelt of New York City. At some time, the M.P. Möller Company of Hagerstown, Md., rebuilt the organ as their opus R-1959.

F.R. Webber recorded the following specifications in one of his "Organ Scrapbooks," now in the collection of the Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Webber noted that the organ "existed intact in 1952, and was still giving good service." In a later notebook entry, Webber writes, "Dismantled 1958."
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Gemshorn
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Trumpet
58
8
  Doppel flöte
58
       
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
4
  Flute harmonique
58
8
  Violin Diapason
58
 
  Cornet, 3 ranks
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Dolce
58
  Tremulant  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
       
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal       Swell to Great  
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great octaves  
                 
William A. Johnson
Westfield, Mass. – Opus 110 (1864)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 10 stops


An organ built by William A. Johnson predates the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
                 
Henry Erben
New York City (1838)
Mechanical action


The first organ in the General Theological Seminary was built by Henry Erben for nearby St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church. Two of Erben's Opus Lists (1874 and 1880) indicate that the organ was built in 1838, yet parish records show that the Erben organ was sold to the General Seminary in 1843 for $400, and that the church purchased a new and larger organ in 1843 for $5000. However, a September 3, 1838 entry in Philip Hone's diary mentions a visit to St. Peter's, where he found an organ which was "too large for the church." It may be that a smaller organ had been used by the church until the 1838 Erben was installed, at which time the earlier organ was sold to General Seminary.

Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
                 
Sources:
     The American Organist (May 1959). Specifications of Holtkamp Organ (1958).
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     The General Theological Seminary web site: http://www.gts.edu.
     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.
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specification of Frank Roosevelt organ, Op. 385 (1887). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     Museum of the City of New York. Photo (1889) of Frank Roosevelt organ, Op. 385 (1887).
     Rust, John. Chapel exterior and interior; Holtkamp organ.