Huntington Hartford Gallery of Modern Art - Two Columbus Circle - New York City
Huntington Hartford Gallery of Modern Art

2 Columbus Circle
58th Street and Eighth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10019


Organ Specifications:
III/37 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Op. 1400 (1963 contract)
III/38 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Op. 1400 (1959 contract)



Located on a trapezoidal plot just beyond the southwest corner of Central Park, the quirky, nine-story marble-clad building at Two Columbus Circle was erected in 1964 by George Huntington Hartford II, an heir to the A&P supermarket fortune, as the Huntington Hartford Gallery of Modern Art. Mr. Hartford, a philanthropist who was known variously as a playboy and giver of lavish parties, also amassed an impressive modern art collection. His gallery in New York City was built, in part, to house his collection, and to present non-abstract art that was not being displayed by other museums in the city, in particular the Museum of Modern Art. Designed by Edward Durell Stone—who also created the original Museum of Modern Art in 1938, and later, the General Motors Building and the Kennedy Center—the Post-Modernist, concave upright rectangle was conceived as a modern design exhibit on its own. Its edges are perforated with double rows of round holes arranged in squares of four, which allowed the art inside to be viewed, at least partially, in diffused natural light. At the top of Stone's building, behind the screen of the loggia, was the two-story Gauguin Room restaurant, which offered panoramic views of Central Park. The building was nicknamed "The Lollipop Building" in reference to a mocking review by architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable in which she called it a "die-cut Venetian palazzo on lollipops." It is a building New Yorkers love to hate.

Proposed Museum of Arts and Design - Two Columbus Circle - New York City  
Brad Clopefil's design for
the Museum of Arts and Design
 
Due to a declining personal fortune and lack of funding, Huntington Hartford was forced to close his gallery after only five years, and in 1969 Mr. Hartford turned the building over to Fairleigh Dickinson University, which used it to house the New York Cultural Center. Gulf+Western Industries purchased the building in 1975 and presented it to the city in 1980, which installed the Department of Cultural Affairs there and the city's visitors' bureau. Both moved out in 1998, leaving the building vacant and crumbling. In 2002 the city sold the building to the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), formerly known as the American Craft Museum. Architect Brad Clopefil's design will replace the mostly window-less crumbling marble facade with a veil of bleached terra cotta and glass. Architectural preservationists, including Robert A. M. Stern, have campaigned without success to save this example of Stone's work. In 2004, The National Trust named this building one of the most endangered in the nation.
             
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc.
Boston, Mass. A – Opus 1400 (1963 contract)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 38 stops, 37 ranks, 2,125 pipes


The Aeolian-Skinner organ in the Hartford Gallery of Modern Art was first contracted in June 1959 (see following entry) for a price of $48,000. However, by the time the gallery was ready to open, the organ specification had been revised to include several additions and console preparations. The final cost (Aug. 9, 1963) – including an escalation charge, unifying the Swell 8' Trompette, and additions – came to $64,093.10. The cost of future additions would be another $10,250.

The organ was installed in a chamber just off a landing on a stairway which connected all floors. William Self, then organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Church, served as consultant. Mr. Self presented an informal program on April 28, 1964 during a benefit party hosted by Mrs. Isaac Gimbel of Gimbel Brothers Department Stores. Virgil Fox also promoted the use of this organ, which would have been otherwise neglected. About 1980, the organ was moved by Gordon Auchincloss to the United Methodist Church in New Canaan, Conn.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes (3" wind)
16
  Flauto Dolce
C-P
4
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Spitzprinzipal
61
2
 
Super Octave
preparation
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture IV-VI ranks
294
4
  Octave
61
     

     

     
Choir-Positiv Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes: Choir enclosed; Positiv to be unenc. (3" wind)
8
 
Gemshorn *
(56)
1 1/3
  Larigot *
(56)
8
  Cor de Nuit
61
1
  Sifflöte *
(56)
8
  Flauto Dolce
61
    Zimbel III ranks *
(183)
8
  Flute Celeste [TC]
49
8
 
Cromorne
61
4
  Prestant *
(56)
    Tremulant  
4
  Koppelflöte
61
    Choir 16'  
2 2/3
  Rohrnasat
61
    Choir Unison Off  
2
  Zauberflöte
61
    Choir 4'  
2
  Lieblich Prinzipal *
(56)
       
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
* console preparation for future Positiv stops

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (3" wind)
16
  Rohrgedeckt
68
16
  Bombarde [ext.]
12
8
  Viola Pomposa
68
8
  Trompette
68
8
  Viola Celeste
68
4
  Clairon
68
8
  Rohrgedeckt [ext.]
12
    Tremulant  
4
  Spitzflöte
68
    Swell 16'  
2
 
Lieblich Prinzipal *
C-P
  Swell Unison Off  
1 1/3
  Larigot *
C-P
  Swell 4'  
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
    Choir Cornet (V rks.) on Swell
    Cymbale III ranks
183
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (3" wind)
16
  Sub Bass
32
2
 
Lieblich Prinzipal *
C-P
16
  Flauto Dolce [ext. C-P]
12
    Mixture III ranks
96
16
  Rohrgedeckt
SW
16
  Buccine [1/2 length Fagot]
32
8
  Octave
32
16
  Bombarde
SW
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
8
  Buccine [ext.]
12
8
  Flauto Dolce
C-P
4
  Buccine [ext.]
12
4
  Choralbass [ext.]
12
4
  Cromorne
C-P
4
  Rohrflöte
GT
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Great 8', 4'
    Great to Pedal 8'   Choir-Positiv to Great 8', 4'
    Choir-Positiv to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir-Positiv 8', 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6
Choir-Positiv Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6
  General Cancel
  Setter Piston with lock
               
Mechanicals
    Swell Expression Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Choir-Positiv Expression Pedal   Full Organ Reversible
    Crescendo Pedal with Light Indicator   Cymbelstern Reversible (toe)
             
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Inc.
Boston, Mass. A – Opus 1400 (1959 contract)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 34 stops, 38 ranks


Following is the specification from the original contract (dated June 8, 1959) for an Aeolian-Skinner organ to be installed in the Hartford Gallery of Modern Art at a cost of $48,000. This specification was revised and enlarged over the next four years before the organ was built and installed.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes (2½" wind)
8
  Principal
61
4
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture IV-VI ranks
305
4
  Octave
61
       

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed (2½" wind)
8
  Cor de Nuit
61
1 1/3
  Larigot
61
4
  Koppelflöte
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
 
Cromorne
61
2
  Blockflöte
61
    Tremulant  
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (3" wind)
16
  Gedackt [ext.]
12
8
  Trompette
68
8
  Viola Pomposa
68
4
  Clairon
68
8
  Viola Céleste
68
    Tremulant  
8
  Gedackt
68
    Swell 16'  
4
  Flûte à Fuseau
68
    Swell Unison Off  
   
Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
  Swell 4'  
    Cymbale III ranks
183
  Choir Cornet (V rks.) on Swell
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (3" wind)
16
  Bourdon
32
2
 
Blockflöte
CH
16
  Gedackt
SW
    Fourniture III ranks
96
8
  Octave
32
16
  Contre Trompette [ext. SW]
12
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
8
  Trompette
SW
4
  Octave [ext.]
12
4
  Clairon
SW
4
  Rohrflöte
GT
4
  Cromorne
CH
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 8'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4
Choir-Positiv Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4
General Pistons 1-2-3-4
  General Cancel
               
Mechanicals
    Swell Expression Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Choir Expression Pedal   Full Organ Reversible
    Crescendo Pedal and Light Indicator    
               
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/Specs/Op01400.html. Stoplist of Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 1400 (1963).
     Callahan, Charles. Aeolian-Skinner Remembered: A History in Letters. Minneapolis: Randall M. Egan, 1996.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Trupiano, Larry. Correspondence from William Self to John Tyrrell of Aeolian-Skinner (May 2, 1964).
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications (Jun. 8, 1959 and Aug. 9, 1963) for Aeolian-Skinner organ, Op. 1400.