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Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
(Roman Catholic)

463 West 142nd Street at Convent Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10031


Organ Specifications:
III/30 Austin Organ Company, Op. 1781 (1931)
unknown (c.1904)


The parish of Our Lady of Lourdes was established in 1901 to serve the Hamilton Grange section of Washington Heights. Rev. Joseph McMahon, who had served as a curate at St. Patrick's Cathedral for fifteen years, was appointed as the first pastor. As Father McMahon set out to build his church, he acquired discarded materials from three famous 19th century landmarks at bargain prices, including the recently demolished Fifth Avenue mansion of department store magnate A.T. Stewart and the facade of the National Academy of Design building at Fourth Avenue and East 23rd Street. Also used was the original east end (and stained glass windows) of James Renwick, Jr.'s St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was being replaced by a new Lady Chapel. Architect Cornelius O'Reilly of O'Reilly Brothers combined the salvaged materials to form an ebullient building in the Venitian Gothic style. Built from 1902-04, the church is reminiscent of a palazzo on the Grand Canal, and is arguably the most eccentric Catholic church building in New York City. The parochial school was added in 1913.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church is within the Hamilton Heights Historic District and Extension, as designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1974 and 2000, and was designated an individual landmark in 1975. Today the congregation is as varied as the building's architecture, including African-American, Dominican, Ecuadorean, Eritrean, and Mexican.
             
  Austin Organ Co. organ, Op. 1781 (1931) in Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church - New York City (photo: Dave Schmauch)
   
  Austin Organ Co. organ, Op. 1781 (1931) in Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church - New York City (photo: Dave Schmauch)
Austin Organ Company
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 1781 (1931)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 37 stops, 30 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir
8
  Diapason One
73
8
  Dulciana
73
8
  Diapason Two
73
4
  Principal
73
8
  Clarabella
73
4
  Flute
73
8
  Gemshorn
73
8
  Corno d'Amore
73
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flauto Traverso
73
8
  Diapason
73
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
8
  Gedeckt
73
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Dolce
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Vox Angelica [TC]
61
    Tremulant  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Melodia
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Flute Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Cor Anglais
73
8
  Dolcissimo
73
8
  Harp [TC]
61 bars
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
4
  Harp Celesta [ext.]
4
  Flauto d'Amore
73
    Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Diapason [unit]
44
8
  Bourdon
16
  Bourdon [unit]
44
8
  Bourdon
SW
16
  Bourdon
SW
8
  Gemshorn
GT
16
  Gemshorn [ext. GT]
12
16
  Fagotto [ext. SW]
12
8
  Diapason
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8, 4   Swell to Choir 16, 8, 4
    Great to Pedal 8, 4   Choir to Swell 8
    Choir to Pedal 8, 4   Great 16, 4, Unison Off
    Swell to Great 16, 8, 4   Swell 16, 4, Unison Off
    Choir to Great 16, 8, 4   Choir 16, 4, Unison Off
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb) Cancellor Bar
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb) Cancellor Bar
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb) Cancellor Bar
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (toe) Cancellor Bar
Generals Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb) General Cancel (thumb)
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Great-Choir Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Sforzando
    Crescendo Pedal    
               
Sources:
     The American Organist (Feb. 1932). Stoplist of Austin Organ Co. organ, Op. 1781 (1931). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Vol. III. New York: The Catholic Editing Company, 1914.
     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.
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Gretchen S. Sorin. Touring Historic Harlem: Four Walks in Northern Manhattan. New York: New York Landmarks Conservancy, 1997.
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     "Nieuw Haarlem," http://newhaarlem.blogspot.com/2008/07/our-lady-of-lourdes-church-at-142nd-st.html (July 22, 2008).
     Ochse, Orpha. Austin Organs. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 2001.
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.

Illustrations:
     Newhaarlem blogspot. Exterior.
     Schmauch, Dave. Case and Console of Austin Organ Co. organ, Op. 1781 (1931).
     
Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. 1903 exterior.