Drawing (ca.1899) of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity on East 88th Street (Barney & Chapman, architects) - New York City

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Church of the Holy Trinity
(Episcopal)

316 East 88th Street
New York, N.Y. 10128
http://www.holytrinity-nyc.org


Organ Specifications:
316 East 88th Street (since 1899):
III/55 Rieger Orgelbau (1987)
II/3 Schlicker Organ Co., Op. 1283 (1981) – Chancel (inst. 2002)
II/7 Schlicker Organ Company (1970)
III/67 Rodgers Organ Company electronic (1968)
III/24 Ernest M Skinner Organ Co., Op. 215 (1913)
III/ Farrand & Votey, Op. 758 (1895) – move Roosevelt, Op. 5
Madison Avenue and 42nd Street (ca.1864-1899):
Second building (1873–1899):
III/43 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 5 (1873)
First building (ca.1864-1873):
• Henry Erben (1867)
               
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1864 by the Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., a dynamic young churchman whose father, Dr. Stephen H. Tyng, was the rector of St. George's Church in Stuyvesant Square.

The first Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity on Madison Avenue and 42nd Street (Jay Wrey Mould, architect) - New York City  
First building (ca.1864-73)  
The first church, designed in Victorian "cottage ornée" by the English-born Jacob Wrey Mould (1825-1886), was built on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 42nd Street. Mould was noted for his many contributions to the design and construction of New York's Central Park; he was also an avid pianist and organist, and employed his talent for language in translating numerous foreign opera librettos into English.

As the city's population continued to move northward, Holy Trinity Church increased in numbers and soon outgrew its building. Rev. Tyng selected Leopold Eidlitz (1823-1908) to design a new church that would be a "theater with ecclesiastical details." Eidlitz, a Prague-born Jewish immigrant who trained in Vienna, had previously built the Romanesque St. George's Church, and would later receive commissions for Temple Emanu-El, the New York County ("Tweed") Courthouse, and the State Capitol in Albany. Completed on the same site in 1873, the new Holy Trinity Church was built in the High Victorian Gothic style and featured a prominent tower and steeple. Its interior was decorated with patterning in yellow, brown, red and blue, earning it the nickname of Church of the Homely Oilcloth.

Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity on Madison Avenue and 42nd Street (Leopold Eidlitz, architect) - New York City  
Madison Avenue & 42nd Street (1873-99)
Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) - New York City
Present building
By the end of the 19th century, Holy Trinity Church was in decline, affected by the increasingly busy commercial interests in midtown and its location only a block from the first Grand Central Depot. An invitation in 1895 to merge with St. James' Church was accepted, and the church building was sold and demolished. St. James Church, located on Madison Avenue and 71st Street, was at the time supporting a Holy Trinity mission on East 83rd Street. Serena Rhinelander wished to donate a new settlement complex for the growing working-class area — as a memorial to her father and grandfather — by donating the mid-block site on the south side of 88th Street between First and Second Avenues; she also donated the cost of designing and building a church complex. However, St. James Church could not accept her offer because they did not have the resources to maintain the church. It was decided that the maintenance money for the new Holy Trinity Mission would come from the sale of the Church of the Holy Trinity property.

 

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)

   
  The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)
   
  Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) - New York City
  Chimestand
The present Church of the Holy Trinity, consecrated in 1899, was designed by J. Smith Barney of the New York firm of Barney and Chapman, who also designed the Grace Church mission on East 14th Street (now the Church of the Immaculate Conception), which has a similar open tower design. The Holy Trinity complex includes the church, St. Christopher's Parish House, a cloister, morning chapel, and rectory.

The church interior was inspired by Litchfield Cathedral in England, and is noted for its octagonal apse, open-timbered ceiling, 17 stained-glass windows executed by Henry Holiday, and an unprecedented use of very dark terra cotta wainscoting designed to look like brownstone. The exterior, described as a 13th century French Gothic hybrid style, is built in a cruciform plan, and is faced with the same long and narrow iron-spot brick used on the exterior of Carnegie Hall.

The tower, 20 feet square and 150 feet high, rises in the center of the complex. In the tower is a chime of ten bells, weighing from 500 to 1,500 pounds, which were cast in 1898 by Meneely & Co. of Troy, New York. The chime is manually played from the original chimestand located in the middle level of the tower, and was restored in 1995. Holy Trinity was granted full church status in 1951.
               
 

Rieger Organ (1987) in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: © 2005, John Rust)

Rieger Orgelbau
Schwarzach, Austria (1987)
Mechanical key action
Electric stop action
Solid-State combination action
3 manuals, 33 stops, 55 ranks






The three-manual and pedal Rieger organ of 55 ranks is placed in a wide but shallow case having five levels of towers. Located in the south transept of the church, the organ surrounds a large stained-glass window without covering it. All pipework is of high-percentage tin, except for the Positif Flûte (oak), the Postif Cornet (25% tin), and the Pédale Bourdon (oak and pine). The Positif Chamade is mounted horizontally inside the case. The grand ravalement of the Pédale extends the range down to AAA and affects all stops in that division. The tonal design of the instrument, built in 1987, was by Anthony Newman, who was organist at the time.
               
Grande Orgue (Manual I) – 58 notes [CC - g3]
16
  Bourdon 
56
1 1/3
  Fourniture V ranks
280
8
  Montre
56
1
  Cymbale V ranks
280
8
  Flute
56
8
  Cromorne
56
4
  Prestant
56
8
  Trompette
56
2
  Doublette
56
4
  Clairon
56
4
  Grosse Fourniture VII ranks
392
 
     

     

     
Positif Orgue (Manual II) – 58 notes [CC - g3]
8
  Flute
56
 
  Cornet V ranks [f2-g5]
195
4
  Principal
56
8
  Trompette
56
1 1/3
  Larigot
56
8
  Chamade
56
1
  Mixture IV ranks
224
 
     

     

     
Récit espressif (Manual III) – 56 notes [CC - g3], enclosed
8
  Flute
56
16
  Basson
56
8
  Salicional
56
8
  Hautbois
56
8
  Celeste
56
8
  Trompette harmonique
56
4
  Flute
56
4
  Clairon harmonique
56
1
  Sifflet
56
 
  Tremulant  

     

     
Pédale Orgue – 33 notes (AAA - f1)
16
  Montre
33
32
  Kontrabombarde
33
16
  Bourdon
33
16
  Bombarde 
33
8
  Principal
33
8
  Trompette 
33
               
Couplers
    I/P, II/P, III/P, III/I, II/I, III/II    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Grande Orgue Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Positif Orgue Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Récit espressif Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Pédale Orgue Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb & toe)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
  General Cancel (thumb)
  Set (thumb)
               
Expression
    Balanced Pedal – Récit espressif      
               

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)

 

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)

 
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)
             
  Schlicker Organ, Op. 1283 (1981) in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: © 2005, John Rust)
Chancel Organ

Schlicker Organ Company
Buffalo, N.Y. – Opus 1283 (1981)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 13 stops, 3 ranks, 226 pipes






Schlicker Organ, Op. 1283 (1981) in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: © 2005, John Rust)

 
This unified three-rank, two-manual and pedal instrument, located in the chancel, was originally built in 1981 by Schlicker Organs for the residence of Robert and Rosadene Shepfer of Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. Shepfer had been for three decades the organist and choirmaster at the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. Upon his retirement, the Shepfers moved to a smaller residence and made their house organ available. Holy Trinity had been seeking a concise instrument that could accompany the choir – which had relocated to the chancel after being in the transept since 1987 with the Rieger organ located there – and would serve as a continuo instrument; it must also fit into the available space. It was discovered that the Schlicker organ would fit perfectly, and the Shepfers presented their house organ as a gift to Dr. Stephen Hamilton for use at the Church of the Holy Trinity during his tenure there as Minister of Music. The organ was installed in 2002. Following his retirement in 2011, the organ was gifted to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where it was installed in the Music Suite.
               
Manual I – 61 notes
  Manual II – 61 notes
8
  Rohrgedeckt  
8
  Rohrgedeckt  
4
  Principal  
4
  Flute  
2
  Flute  
1 1/3
  Flute  
8
  Krumhorn [sic]  
8
  Krumhorn  
               
Pedal Organ– 32 notes
   
Stop Analysis

     
Pipes
16
  Gedeckt
104
4
  Principal
61
8
  Krummhorn
    61
   
Total
226
16
  Gedeckt      
8
  Flute      
4
  Principal      
8
  Krumhorn      
4
  Krumhorn      
               
  Schlicker Organ (1970) formerly in Carnegie Hall - New York City (photo: Ken List)
  Schlicker Organ at Carnegie Hall
Schlicker Organ Company
Buffalo, N.Y. (1970)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 24 stops, 7 ranks, 439 pipes




A two-manual-and-pedal unit organ built by the Schlicker Organ Company of Buffalo was brought to Carnegie Hall for a March 1, 1971 performance of Handel's Solomon by the Handel Society of New York, Stephen Simon, conductor. Following the concert, the organ was given to Carnegie Hall, where it was subsequently used for religious meetings in the hall. At some point, the organ was moved to the Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) where it was used as a temporary instrument until the installation of the Rieger organ in 1987. The organ was subsequently given to St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in the Bronx.

Schlicker provided two movable platforms for the console and pipe case, and both components were connected by a detachable cable. The organ was designed to fit on an elevator 9'11" x 5'7" and stored in an area 6'2" high. Wind pressure for the entire organ was 2½ inches.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Principal  
2
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Gedeckt       Mixture III ranks  
4
  Octave  
8
  Krummhorn  
4
  Gedeckt  
4
  Krummhorn  
2
  Octave          
               
Positiv Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Gedeckt  
1
  Siffloete  
4
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Krummhorn  
2
  Principal       Tremolo  
1 1/3
  Larigot          
               
Pedal Organ– 32 notes
16
  Untersatz       Rauschpfeife II ranks  
8
  Gedeckt  
16
  Krummhorn  
4
  Octave  
8
  Krummhorn  
4
  Gedeckt  
4
  Krummhorn  
2
  Rohrfloete          
               
Stop Analysis

     
Pipes
16
  Untersatz/Gedeckt
73
4
  Principal
61
2
  Rohrfloete
61
    Mixture II-III ranks
171
16
  Krummhorn
    73
   
Total
439
               
Rodgers Organ Company
Hillsboro, Ore. (1968)
Analog? tone generation
3 manuals, 67 stops


In 1968, a Rodgers Organ Company electronic instrument with three-manuals and 67 stops was installed in the church, replacing the 1913 Ernest M. Skinner organ.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, expressive
16
  Quintaton  
2
  Fifteenth  
8
  Principal       Fourniture IV ranks  
8
  Bourdon       Cymbal III ranks  
8
  Gemshorn  
8
  Cor Anglais  
4
  Octave  
8
  Trompete  
4
  Spitzflöte  
 
  Tremolo  
2 2/3
  Twelfth          

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, expressive
16
  Rohrgedeckt  
2 2/3
  Rohrnasat  
8
  Geigen Principal  
2
  Waldflöte  
8
  Rohrflöte       Plein Jeu V ranks  
8
  Salicional  
16
  Fagotto  
8
  Voix Celeste  
8
  Trompette  
8
  Flauto Dolce  
8
  Hautbois  
8
  Flute Celeste  
8
  Vox Humana  
4
  Prestant  
4
  Clarion  
4
  Nachthorn       Tremolo  

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, expressive
16
  Flute Conique  
1 3/5
  Tierce  
8
  Viola  
1 1/3
  Larigot  
8
  Viola Celeste  
1
  Sifflöte  
8
  Nachthorn  
8
  Cromorne  
8
  Quintade  
8
  Schalmei  
8
  Erzähaler  
8
  Trompette Harmonique  
8
  Erzähaler Celeste       Tremolo  
4
  Principal       Harp  
4
  Lieblich Flöte       Celesta  
4
  Quintadena       Flemish Carillon  
2 2/3
  Nazard      
Cymbelstern
5 bells
2
  Blockflöte          

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Contra Principal  
4
  Nachthorn  
32
  Untersatz       Mixture III ranks  
16
  Principal  
32
  Contra Bombarde  
16
  Bourdon  
16
  Bombarde  
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt  
16
  Fagotto  
16
  Dulciana  
8
  Trumpet  
8
  Octave  
8
  Krummhorn  
8
  Bourdon  
4
  Clarion  
8
  Still Gedeckt  
4
  Schalmei  
8
  Gemshorn       Tremolo  
4
  Choralbass          
               
 

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)

  Extant case in north transept
Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 215 (1913)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 37 stops, 24 ranks



In 1913, a contract was signed with the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company of Boston for the Op. 215, a three-manual and pedal organ. Skinner installed the organ in matching cases in the transepts: on the north side were the Great, Swell and Philomela (Pedal Open 8' up); and on the south side were the Choir, Pedal Open (lowest 12 pipes) and Pedal Bourdon. The north transept case is extant, but the south transept case was removed when the Rieger organ was installed. Following is the stoplist recorded (June 25, 1914) in the Head Reed Voicer's log book.

In the 1940s, an Antiphonal division of about 8 stops was added to the two existing cases in the gallery. No records of this division have been found and it is unknown who executed the work. The Skinner organ was replaced in 1968 by a Rodgers electronic instrument.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes (6" pressure)
16
  Bourdon [ext. PED]
17
8
  Gedackt
SW
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Dulciana (Aeoline)
SW
8
  Philomela [ext. PED Diapason]
29
4
  Flute
SW
8
  Erzähler
61
8
  Cornopean
SW

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Flute
61
8
  Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Gedackt
61
2
  Flautino
61
8
  Salicional
61
16
  Contra Posaune
61
8
  Voix Celestes
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Flugel Horn
61
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
49
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Clarabella
61
    Tremolo  

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
16
  Gamba
61
8
  Orchestral Oboe
61
8
  Geigen Principal
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Concert Flute
61
   
Celesta
[49 bars]
4
  Flute
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (5" pressure)
32
  Bourdon [resultant]
10 2/3
  Quinte [Bourdon]
16
  Diapason [unit]
44
8
  Octave [ext. Diapason]
16
  Gamba
CH
8
  Gedackt [ext. Bourdon]
16
  First Bourdon [unit]
44
16
  Posaune
SW
16
  Second Bourdon
SW
       
               
  The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity - NYC (Photo: © 2005, John Rust)
  Extant cases in rear gallery
Original organ in present church:

Farrand & Votey
Detroit, Mich. – Opus 758 (1895)



When the present Church of the Holy Trinity was opened in 1899, it was a mission of St. James' Church on Madison Avenue. In the archive at St. James' Church is a "scrapbook" containing an article from the Christian Standard (May 13, 1899) that described the chancel and organ at Holy Trinity Mission Church:
"The pulpit, choir stalls and altar are of dark English oak. On the south side is the Roosevelt chancel organ, connected by electricity with the great organ, which is in two sections, placed in a gallery, flanking the great window in the clerestory, at the west end of the church."
However, the Roosevelt company ceased operations in 1893, at which time its contracts were taken over by the Farrand & Votey firm of Detroit. Thus, it seems likely that Farrand & Votey's Op. 758 (1895) — listed as a rebuild of the 3-manual Roosevelt at "St. James Episcopal" — was actually the job to move the III/43 Roosevelt (1873, Op. 5) from the old Holy Trinity Church on Madison & 42nd Street to the new Holy Trinity Mission on East 88th Street. It is not known if the Roosevelt organ was altered when it was installed in the present church building.
               
  Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at Madison Avenue & 42nd Street - New York City
  Madison Avenue & 42nd Street
Organ in second church at Madison Avenue and 42nd Street:

Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 5 (1873)
Barker lever action to Great and Swell
3 manuals, 38 stops, 43 ranks



The organ in the church on Madison Avenue and 42nd Street was built in 1873 by Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York City. It was Roosevelt's first three-manual organ to be completed, although his first contract for a three-manual organ was for Holy Trinity Episcopal in Brooklyn. Roosevelt installed the organ in identical cases at the chancel end of the two side galleries, and the console was located on the left side of the chancel floor. Roosevelt's novel "Electro-Melody" Organ was wired so that the stops drawn added themselves to the highest note being played.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Gamba
58
    Mixture, 4 ranks
232
8
  Doppel Flute
58
16
  Trumpet *
58
8
  Concert Flute
58
8
  Trumpet *
58
4
  Principal
58
4
  Clarion *
58
4
  Flute
58
   
* enclosed with Swell
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
    Mixture, 3 ranks
174
8
  Stop Diapason
58
8
  Trumpet
58
8
  Harmonica
58
8
  Hautbois
58
4
  Flute
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
4
  Principal
58
    Tremulant  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Dulciana
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Clarionette
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
       
               
Electro-Melody Organ – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
2
  Piccolo
8
  Gamba
8
  Trumpet
4
  Flute
       
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Grand Open Diapason
27
8
  Violoncello
27
16
  Bourdon
27
4
  Principal
27
16
  Contrebass
27
16
  Trombone
27
12
  Quint
27
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Swell to Pedal   Choir to Great
    Choir to Pedal   Swell to Choir
               
Combination Pedals
    Great Organ Forte   Swell Organ Forte
    Great Organ Sforzando   Swell Organ Piano
    Great Organ Piano   Pedal Organ Piano
               
Organ in first church at Madison Avenue and 42nd Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1867)
Mechanical action


Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/
     Burrell, Fred, and Anthony Newman. Information regarding provenance of 1970 Schlicker Organ.
     "The Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal)," The Northeast Organist (ca. 1996).
     The Diapason (June 1968). Stoplist of Rodgers electronic organ (1968). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks (Third Edition). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Ernest M. Skinner Company. Chests & Sills drawings of Ernest M. Skinner organ, Op. 215 (1913). American Organ Archives, Princeton, N.J. Courtesy Bynum Petty and Larry Trupiano.
     Ernest M. Skinner Company. Reed Voicer's log (Jun 25, 1914). Stoplist of Ernest M. Skinner organ, Op. 215 (1913). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Holden, Dorothy. The Life and Work of Ernest M. Skinner. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1987.
     Holy Trinity Church web site: http://www.holytrinity-nyc.org
     "Holy Trinity Church, New York," The Christian Herald (May 13, 1899).
     "Holy Trinity Episcopal Church to be Consecrated May 6," The New York Times (Apr. 15, 1899).
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List (New Revised Edition). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Kinzey, Allen. Electronic correspondence (Aug. 14, 2011) regarding Ernest M. Skinner organ, Op. 215 (1913).
     Nickerson's Illustrated Church, Musical and School Directory of New York and Brooklyn. New York: Nickerson & Young, 1895.
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977.
     "Organ Concert At Holy Trinity Church," The New York Times (Nov. 18, 1874):8.
     Mowers, Cullie. Specifications of Schlicker Organ (1970).

Illustrations:
     Church of the Holy Trinity Archives. Old photos
     List, Ken. Schlicker Organ Company brochure with photo of Schlicker organ (1970) in Carnegie Hall.
     Nickerson's Illustrated Church, Musical and School Directory of New York and Brooklyn: interior of church on Madison Avenue & 42nd Street (ca. 1895).
     Rust, John. Church interior; Rieger organ; 1981 Schlicker organ.