Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)

 
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Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel
(Roman Catholic)

230 East 90th Street
New York, N.Y. 10128
http://olgcny.org/


Organ Specifications:
III/19 Kilgen Organ Company, Op. 7799 (1959)
III/50 Hook & Hastings, Op. 1480 (1891)




In the 1870s and 1880s, following the Civil War, the city's residents began to move northward, leaving the congested and noisy downtown area. The construction of elevated trains along Second and Third Avenues enticed many to Yorkville, which extends from 59th to 96th Street, and from the East River to Fifth Avenue. German families and immigrants, along with a large group of Irish, were particularly attracted to Yorkville. Brownstones and tenements were built for the laborers who worked at the Ehret's and Ruppert's breweries, or who crossed the East River at 92nd Street for an easy ferry ride to the Steinway Piano Factory in Queens.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)  
   

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)

 
The influx of Catholics soon overflowed Yorkville's primary church, St. Lawrence O'Toole (now St. Ignatius Loyola), founded in 1851 on East 84th Street. New churches were established by the diocese, including St. Monica's (1879) on East 79th, St. Jean Baptiste (1882) on Lexington Avenue at East 76th Street, Our Lady of Good Counsel (1886) on East 90th Street, St. Joseph's (1888) on East 87th Street, St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1891) on East 83rd Street, and St. Stephen of Hungary (1902) on East 82nd Street.

Thomas H. Poole designed the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which was completed in 1892. Its stone exterior is notable for crenellated coping and turrets which echo those found on the Calvary Squadron A Armory (designed by John R. Thomas in 1888-90) on Madison Avenue between 94th and 95th Streets. Inside, the ornate and spacious interior is decorated with lacy gothic details, galleries on three sides, and beautiful stained glass windows.
         
 

Geo. Kilgen & Son organ, Op. 7799 (1959) in Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)

Kilgen Organ Company
St. Louis, Mo. – Opus 7799 (1959)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 28 stops, 19 ranks
               
After almost 70 years of service, the large 1891 Hook & Hastings organ was replaced in 1959-60 by a much smaller organ built by the Kilgen Organ Company, one of two rival firms established after the liquidation of Geo. Kilgen & Son of St. Louis in 1939. Kilgen installed the organ behind the twin cases of the original Hook & Hastings organ.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
8
  Melodia
61
2
  Super Octave
8
  Gemshorn
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Principal [unit]
73
 
  Chimes  

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
73
2
  Piccolo
8
  Gedeckt [unit]
97
    Plein Jeu III ranks
183
8
  Viole de Gambe
73
 8
  Oboe
73
8
  Viole Celeste [TC]
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Flute d'Amour
       

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Concert Flute
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Dulciana
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Unda Maris
61
 
  Chimes
GT
4
  Zart Floete
73
 
     
2 2/3
  Nasard [Zart Fl.] *
   
* has always played at 2' pitch

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
8
  Octave [Contra Bass]
16
  Contra Bass [unit]
44
8
  Bass Flute [Bourdon]
16
  Bourdon [unit]
56
8
  Gedeckt
SW
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt [ext. SW]
12
4
  Block Floete [Bourdon]
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Great 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Swell 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir 16', Unison Off, 4'
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations (hold and set)
   
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb)
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb)
Choir & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-0 (thumb)
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Expression Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Swell Expression Pedal   Sforzando
    Choir Expression Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
               

 

Geo. Kilgen & Son organ, Op. 7799 (1959) in Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)

  Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)
     

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)

  Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church - New York City (photo: John Rust)
         
Hook & Hastings
Boston, Mass. – Opus 1480 (1891)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 51 registers, 41 stops, 50 ranks


The original organ for Our Lady of Good Counsel was built in 1891 by Hook & Hastings of Boston. Following is the stoplist recorded by organist Clifford J. Iasillo, who arrived to play for the High Mass on Passion Sunday 1957, only to find that the organ had been removed. Manual and pedal compasses were not given but are suggested, based on similar Hook & Hastings organs of that era.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Viola d'Gamba
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Viole d'Amour
58
    Mixture IV ranks
232
8
  Doppel Flute
58
    Acuta IV ranks
232
6
  Quint
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
4
  Clarion
58

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Flautino
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
    Dolce Cornet IV ranks
232
8
  Stop'd Diapason
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Oboe
58
4
  Flute Traverso
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
4
  Violino
58
    Tremolo  

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
58
4
  Flute d'Amour
58
8
  Geigen Principal
58
4
  Fugara
58
8
  Stop'd Diapason
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Clarinet
58
8
  Dulciana
58
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Flute
30
16
  Violone
30
16
  Trombone
30
12
  Quint Flute
30
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great   Great to Pedal
    Swell to Great Octaves   Swell to Pedal
    Choir to Great   Choir to Pedal
    Swell to Choir    
               
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Bellows Signal
    Crescendo Pedal    
           
Sources:
     Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel web site: http://olgcny.org/
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Iasillo, Louis J. "Taken Out Passion Sunday 1957," organ stoplist book with Hook & Hastings organ, Op. 1480 (1891). Courtesy Rollin Smith.
     125th Anniversary booklet, pub. by St. Joseph's R.C. Church (Yorkville) New York City, 1998.
     Van Pelt, William T., compiler. The Hook Opus List, 1829-1916 in Facsimile. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1991.

Illustrations:
     Rust, John. Exterior; interior; Geo. Kilgen & Son organ, Op. 7799 (1959).