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Masonic Temple

71 West 23rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10010
http://www.nymasons.org


Organ Specifications:
Present Building – 71 West 23rd Street at Sixth Avenue (rebuilt 1909):
III/19 Austin Organ Company, Op. 244 (1909) – Grand Lodge Room
Extension Building at 46-54 West 24th Street (since 1909):
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 233 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 234 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 235 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 236 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 237 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 238 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 239 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 240 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 241 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 242 (1909) – Meeting Room
II/4 Austin Organ Company, Op. 243 (1909) – Meeting Room
Original Building – NE corner 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue (1875-1909):
• III/ Henry Erben (1875) – Grand Lodge
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Chapter Room
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Commandery
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Composite Room
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Corinthian Room
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Doric Room
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Ionic Room
• II/ Henry Erben (1875) – Tuscan Room

The following organs may have been in a different Masonic Temple:
• II/29 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 115 (1872) – elect. & moved to Church of the Nativity RC, Brooklyn
• J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 42 (1865)


The Masonic Temple (1875) - New York City (King's Handbook of New York, 1893)  
King's Handbook of New York (1893)  
The Masonic Temple (1875) - New York City (Harper's Weekly)  
Opening of the Masonic Temple in 1875  
           
  Austin Organ, Op. 244 (1909) in the Grand Lodge Room of Masonic Temple - New York City (photo: Masonic Temple)
Grand Lodge Room

Austin Organ Company
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 244 (1909)
Tubular-pneumatic key and stop action
3 manuals, 31 stops, 19 ranks


The Austin Organ in the Grand Lodge Room had three manuals and thirty-one stops controlling 19 ranks of pipes. As recorded in an Austin Ledger Book, the organ had an attached stop-key console that included an "A.G.O. Willis Model concave and radiating" pedalboard. The swell boxes were 2½" thick, and the organ was voiced on 5" wind pressure. The case was "furnished by the Masonic Temple. Display pipes to be furnished according to design, painted one good coat of metallic paint. (Put on smoothly and properly to avoid scaling in the future.) Ready to receive final decoration which will be done by owner."
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Open Diapason
61
8
  Gross Flute
61
8
  First Diapason *
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
 
 
* unenclosed?
 

     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flauto Traverso
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Violina
73
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Viole Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Aeoline
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes (duplexed from Swell)
8
  Open Diapason
SW
8
  Stopped Diapason
SW
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
SW
4
  Flauto Traverso
SW
8
  Viole Celeste
SW
8
  Oboe
SW
8
  Aeoline
SW
    Tremulant  

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes ("Augmented")
32
  Resultant Bass
16
  Lieblich Gedacht
SW
16
  Open Diapason [unit]
44
8
  Gross Flute
16
  Violone
GT
8
  Flauto Dolce
16
  Bourdon [unit]
44
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Choir 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell Unison Off (keycheek piston)
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir Unison Off (keycheek piston)
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Great stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Swell stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Choir stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3 affecting Pedal stops
               
Accessories
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Sforzando Pedal
    Balanced Choir Pedal [sic] (probably Great)    
         
  Austin Organ (1909) in the Renaissance Room 1909 of Masonic Temple - New York City
  Renaissance Room (1909)
  Austin Organ (1909) in the Egyptian Room of Masonic Temple - New York City
  Egyptian Room
Meeting Rooms

Austin Organ Company
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 233–243 (1909)
Tubular-pneumatic key and stop action
2 manuals, 10 stops, 4 ranks






For the new Masonic Extension Building, the Austin Organ Company was contracted to build "11 organs alike" for the meeting rooms. Each organ had two manuals and ten stops, and all received air from a single blower: when one organ was switched on, all of the organs were winded. The following specification, recorded in an Austin Ledger Book, did not indicate the [two] pedal stops, and showed only the Swell couplers.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
61
8
  Dulciana
61
4
  Harmonic Flute
61

     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Stopped Diapason
GT
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
GT
8
  Dulciana
GT
4
  Harmonic Flute
GT

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes, enclosed
16
  Sub Bass [ext.]
12
       
8
  Bass Flute
GT
       
       
 
     
Couplers
    [Great to Pedal 8']   [Swell to Great 16', 8', 4']
    [Swell to Pedal 8']   Swell to Swell 16', 4', Unison Off
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 affecting entire organ
               
Accessories
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Sforzando Pedal
           
Organ in Grand Lodge Room of original building:

Henry Erben
New York City (1875)
Mechanical action


An article describing the dedication of the temple in The New York Times (June 3, 1875) states that the choir sang a "Te Deum" and was accompanied by Prof. [Albert S.] Caswell [organist and choir-master of St. Peter's P.E. Church, Brooklyn]. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     "Dedication of the Temple," The New York Times (May 26, 1875).
     "Eighteen-Story Skyscraper For Local Masonic Lodges," The New York Times (Mar. 29, 1908).
     Grand Lodge F. & A. M. State of New York web site: http://www.nymasons.org
     King, Moses. Handbook of New York City: An Outline History & Description of the American Metropolis. Boston: Moses King, 1892.
     "A Masonic Skyscraper," The New York Times (June 25, 1903).
     "A Monument to Masonry," The New York Times (May 26, 1875).
     "The New Masonic Temple," The New York Times (June 5, 1870).
     Ochse, Orpha. Austin Organs. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 2001.
     "Ruin By Fire and Water. Great Damage Done to the Masonic Temple," The New York Times (Dec. 2, 1883).
     "The Temple Begun and Finished," The New York Times (May 26, 1875).
     "The Temple Dedicated," The New York Times (June 3, 1875).
     "Skyscraper to Oust Old Masonic Temple," The New York Times (Mar. 26, 1911).
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Contract (Jan. 14, 1909) and Ledger Book specifications of Austin Organ, Op. 244 (1909) for Grand Lodge Room, and Austin Organs, Op. 233-243 (1909) for 11 Meeting Rooms.

Illustrations:
     eBay.com. Postcard (1920) of Masonic Temple.
     Grand Lodge F. & A. M. State of New York web site. Grand Lodge Room.
     King, Moses. Handbook of New York City: An Outline History & Description of the American Metropolis. Boston: Moses King, 1892. Photo of 1875 building.
     Lewis, James. Photo (1909?) of Egyptian Room.