Our Lady of Pompei Catholic Church - New York City (Photo: John Rust)
 
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Church of Our Lady of Pompeii
(Roman Catholic)

25 Carmine Street
New York, N.Y. 10014

Organ Specifications:
25 Carmine Street (since 1928)
III/26 Geo. Kilgen & Son, Op. 4247 (1928); rev.
214 Bleecker Street (1898-1928)
II/32 Charles Viner & Son (1918)
• II/14 Reuben Midmer & Son
• Ferris & Stuart
• Henry Erben (1836)
Waverly Place, then Sullivan Street (c.1892-1898)
• unknown



In 1892, the Rev. Pietro Bandini of the Missionaries of St. Charles, or Scalabrinians, established a chapel to Our Lady of Pompei on Waverly Place. The chapel became a parish after moving to Sullivan Street. In 1898, the church moved into the Third Universalist Church, a Greek Revival edifice which had been built in 1836 at 214 Bleecker Street. At this location, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American saint, taught briefly, and the Rev. Antonio Demo served as pastor from 1900-1935.

Our Lady of Pompei Catholic Church - New York City (Photo: John Rust)  
Father Demo was a noted personality in the Italian Greenwich Village, especially after the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911 which claimed several of in his parish. When the city decided to extend Sixth Avenue through the church property, Demo enlisted Matthew W. Del Gaudio to design the present church, school, convent and rectory. The church's interior is adorned with many paintings and statuary, given by Italian parishioners. The square outside the church was named for Father Demo in 1941, five years after his death. Our Lady of Pompei now includes Vietnamese and Filipino parishioners, but continues to offer one mass in Italian every Sunday.
             
  Our Lady of Pompei Catholic Church - New York City (Photo: John Rust)
Geo. Kilgen & Son
St. Louis, Mo. – Opus 4247 (1928)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 55 registers, 24 stops, 26 ranks







The original organ in the present church was built in 1928 by Geo. Kilgen & Son of St. Louis. Kilgen installed the organ in two sections, one on either side of the gallery windows. The organ includes many old pipes, quite possibly retained from the previous 1918 Charles Viner & Son organ. This organ has been revised and enlarged over the years. At an unknown time, the Echo division was installed using pipes from the ca. 1928 Kilgen organ in Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, Trenton, N.J. Following are the original specifications as reported in The Diapason (Dec. 1928):
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir
16
  Open Diapason
85
4
  Octave
8
  1st Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute
CH
8
  2nd Open Diapason (fr. 16')
2
  Flute Octaviante
CH
8
  Philomela
61
    Mixture III ranks
CH
8
  Viol d'Gamba
CH
8
  Tuba
73
8
  Melodia
CH
4
  Clarion (fr. Tuba)
8
  Dulciana
73
   
Chimes
20 tubes

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
97
4
  Flute d'Amour (fr. Bdn.)
8
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Violina
61
8
  Stopped Diapason (fr. Bdn.)
2
  Flautina (fr. Bdn.)
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Voix Celeste (TC)
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Aeoline
73
    Chimes
GT
8
  Quintadena (synthetic)
    [Tremolo]  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bass Flute (TC)
4
  Dulcet
GT
8
  Open Diapason
GT
2
  Piccolo (fr. Melodia)
8
  Violoncello
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe (synthetic)
8
  Melodia
85
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Dolce
GT
    Mixture III ranks
183
4
  Flute (fr. Melodia)
8
  Tibia Clausa
73
4
  Fugara (fr. Violoncello)
    [Tremolo]  
               
Echo Organ (floating) – 61 notes, enclosed (originally console preparation)
16
  Still Bourdon
97
2 2/3
  Dolce Nazard (fr. St. Bdn.)
8
  Lieblich Gedeckt (fr. St. Bdn.)
2
  Zart Flute (fr. St. Bdn.)
8
  Vox Angelica
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Vox Atheria (TC)
49
  Tremolo
4
  Fern Flute (fr. St. Bdn.)
  Chimes

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Open Diapason
32
8
  Violoncello
CH
16
  Bourdon
44
16
  Open Diapason
GT
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
16
  Trombone (ext. GT)
12
8
  Bass Flute (fr. Bdn.)
8
  Tuba
GT
8
  Dolce Flute
SW
       
               
Couplers – "19 couplers" (not given but suggested below)
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Choir & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (toe)
               
Pedal Movements (not given but suggested below)
    Balanced Expression Pedal –- Great & Choir   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Expression Pedal – Swell   Sforzando Reversible
    Register Crescendo Pedal    
             
Organ in church located on Bleecker Street:

Charles Viner & Son
Buffalo, N.Y. (1918)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 27 stops, 32 ranks


In 1918, a new organ by Charles Viner & Son of Buffalo was installed in Our Lady of Pompei Church on Bleecker Street. It was the only organ by that firm in New York City. Charles Viner was born in 1839, one of six sons born to William L. Viner, an organist and composer in Penzance, England. About 1859, the father and his three youngest sons emmigrated to Westfield, Mass., where the father taught organ, piano and harp. The three sons worked for the Johnson and Son Organ Co. After the Johnson and Son Company ceased operations in 1898, the youngest son, Charles (the 1st) and his son, Charles (the 2nd), moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where they established the Viner & Son firm. In 1909, Charles I installed an organ in the Superior Theatre, San Diego, Calif., and remained there until his death in 1919. Charles II and his son, Charles III, continued the business in Buffalo until about 1930.

The following specification, recorded in a Viner & Son Ledger Book, did not include manual and pedal compasses.
               
Great Organ (Manual I)
16
  Double Open Diapason  
4
  Octave  
8
  Open Diapason  
4
  Flauto Traverso  
8
  Viola di Gamba  
2 2/3
  Octave Quint  
8
  Dulciana  
2
  Super Octave  
8
  Melodia       Mixture IV ranks  
8
  Rohr Flote  
8
  Trumpet  

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – enclosed
16
  Bourdon  
4
  Flute Harmonic  
8
  Open Diapason  
4
  Fugara  
8
  Salicional  
2
  Flautino  
8
  Dolcissimo       Dolce Cornet III ranks  
8
  Quintadena  
8
  Cornopean  
8
  Stopped Diapason  
8
  Oboe  
               
Pedal Organ
16
  Double Open Diapason  
8
  [Violon]Cello  
16
  Bourdon          
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Great 16', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Swell 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-0 (thumb)
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal   Sforzando Reversible
         
Accessories
    2 H.P. Orgoblo   Extended Console
    Generator   Indicators
    Seat    
             
Organ in church located on Bleecker Street:

Reuben Midmer & Son
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mechanical action
2 manual, 14 stops


A blower survey by Louis F. Mohr & Co., an organ service concern in the area, shows that in 1908 there was a Midmer organ organ with 2 manuals and 14 stops. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Organ in church located on Bleecker Street:

Ferris & Stuart
New York City
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Organ in church located on Bleecker Street:

Henry Erben
New York City
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     The Diapason (Dec. 1928). Specifications of Geo. Kilgen & Son organ, Op. 4247 (1928). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     Dunlap, David W. 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.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Blower survey (1908) regarding Midmer organ on Bleecker Street. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Viner & Son, Buffalo, N.Y. Catalog (c.1920s). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Viner & Son, Buffalo, N.Y. Ledger Book. Specifications of Chas. Viner & Son organ (1918). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.

Illustrations:
     Rust, John. Exterior; interior.