Most Precious Blood Catholic Church - New York City
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Church of the Most Precious Blood
(Roman Catholic)

109 Mulberry Street
New York, N.Y. 10013
http://www.mostpreciousbloodchurch.net


Organ Specifications:
II/4 M.P. Möller, Op. 9944 (1963)
II/15 Henry Erben (1862); rev.



Most Precious Blood Catholic Church - New York City  
Most Precious Blood in 1900  
   
The Church of the Most Precious Blood was established in 1888 as a National Parish to serve the rapidly growing number of Italian immigrants in Lower Manhattan. At the time, Italians were not welcomed at other area churches and were relegated to worship and receive sacraments in the basement of other parishes. The Scalabrini Fathers purchased property and began building the Lower Church, designed by William Schickel & Company, in 1891. But within a short time, the Scalabrini Fathers realized that this was indeed a tremendous undertaking, and asked the Archdiocese to relieve them of this burden.

In 1894, administration of the church was transferred to the Franciscan Order, who was then building a church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua on Sullivan Street. The Franciscans agreed to assist with Most Precious Blood Church on one condition: that the debt would first be paid off before efforts began to raise money for the Upper Church. On July 7, 1901, the cornerstone was laid for the Upper Church.

  Most Precious Blood Catholic Church - New York City
   
   
The Franciscan Friars soon realized that most of the immigrants from Mulberry Street were from Naples and the vicinity, and in coming to this new land they brought with them their great devotion to St. Januarius, or San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. Initially, the Feast of San Gennaro was observed every September 19th with great solemnity, but over the years the event grew to include a procession of the statue through the streets of lower Manhattan, followed by an 11-day street fair.

The church was fully renovated in 1995 and reconsecrated on February 7, 1997 by His Eminence, John Cardinal O'Connor. Besides receiving a totally new interior, the beautiful paintings that grace the ceiling and walls of the church were restored by professional artists.
               
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 9944 (1963)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 20 stops, 4 ranks


An M.P. Möller Production Order (Dec. 11, 1963) directs that a four-rank "Artiste" model in the Möller Erecting Room be shipped to the Church of the Most Precious Blood and completed before Christmas 1963. The standard Artiste specification was modifed in that the usual Great 2' Fifteenth (from the Viola) was changed to a 2' Super Octave (from the Diapason).
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason  
4
  Viola  
8
  Gedeckt  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Viola  
2
  Super Octave  
4
  Octave  
8
  Trompette  
4
  Flute          
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed

8
  Gedeckt  
2 2/3
  Nazard  
8
  Viola  
2
  Flautino  
4
  Flute  
8
  Trompette  
4
  Viola  
4
  Trompette  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes, enclosed

16
  Bourdon  
4
  Octave  
8
  Gedeckt  
4
  Flute  
8
  Viola  
8
  Trompette  
5 1/3
  Quint  
4
  Trompette  
               
Pre-set Combinations
    Pistons 1-2-3-4 affecting Great Organ
    Pistons 1-2-3-4 affecting Swell Organ
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Expression Pedal    
    Balanced Register Crescendo Pedal      
               
Accessories
    Crescendo Indicator Light (White)    
    Motor Indicator Light (Red)    
         
Pipe Analysis
     
Pipes
8
  Diapason
80
16
  Bourdon/Gedeckt
92
8
  Viola
61
8
  Trompette
    61
   
Total
294
               
Henry Erben
New York City (1862)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops, 15 ranks


The following specification was recorded on May 12, 1958 by F.R. Webber, whose "Organ Scrapbooks" are in the possession of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Webber's comments included the following notations:

          "Robt. Anthony Porto, Brooklyn"
          "Originally? in St. Clare's, 34th St." [St. Clare was at 438 West 36th Street]

Anthony Porto was an organbuilder known to be active in Brooklyn in the 1920s. It is possible that Porto rebuilt and electrified the Erben organ, and added the sub- and super-couplers.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Octave
56
8
  Clarabella
56
3
  Twelfth
56
8
  Dulciana [TC]
44
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Gamba [TC]
44
8
  Trumpet
56
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Stopped Diapason [chimney]
56
4
  Flute [chimney]
56
8
  Dulciana
56
8
  Clarinet
56
               
Pedal Organ – (unknown compass)
16
  Open Diapason
?
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Swell 16', 4'       Great to Pedal  
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'       Swell to Pedal  
    Great to Great 16', 4'       Pedal octaves  
               
Sources:
     Bowen, Jonathan: Image of page in F.R. Webber's "Organ scrapbook."
     "Church Cornerstone Laid," The New York Times (July 8, 1901).
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Fox, David H. A Guide to North American Organbuilders (Rev. ed.). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Most Previous Blood Church web site: http://www.mostpreciousbloodchurch.net
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Production Order for M. P. Möller Organ, Op. 9944 (1963).
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Henry Erben organ (1862). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     Most Precious Blood Church web site. Interior.
     waatp.com. Exterior.
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). Exterior (c.1900). Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.