Our Lady of the Scalpular and St. Stephen Catholic Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 

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Our Lady of the Scapular–St. Stephen
(Roman Catholic)

149 East 28th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
http://churchofststephen.com/


Organ Specifications:
149 East 28th Street (since 1853)
• II/ Allen Organ Company electronic
IV/22 W.W. Kimball Co., K.P.O. 6567 (1920)
I/5 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 53 (1879)
• III/46 Henry Erben (1853)
Madison Avenue (1848-1853)
• unknown



The Roman Catholic Church of St. Stephen was established in 1848, and was at first located on Madison Avenue. In 1853 the present site was purchased, and plans were made to erect a new church. James Renwick, Jr., noted architect of Grace Church (1843) in New York, and the Smithsonian Institution Building (1846) in Washington, D.C., was selected to design the new St. Stephen's Church. At about the same time, he would begin his most famous commission, that of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

St. Stephen's Church was built in a modified Romanesque style, and features a brownstone exterior and tall arched windows. Renwick provided a secondary but less-developed facade on the northern (chancel) end of the church, in which the great rose window and two smaller windows are filled in with masonry rather than glass. Inside the church, thin cast-iron columns divide the interior into nave, aisles, crossing and transepts, and chancel with double aisles, the outer ones with galleries. The frescoes and murals, including the 46-by-26-foot Crucifixion above the high altar, are by Constantine Brumidi, who in 1855 painted The Apotheosis of George Washington in the dome of the United States Capitol. Stained glass windows were executed by Meyer & Co of Munich, Germany, and installed in the 1860s.

The Church of Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel was founded in 1889, and was located in a Country Gothic building at 341 East 28th Street. Our Lady of the Scapular was merged into St. Stephen's Church in the 1980s, and the original building was razed. In January 2007, the Archdiocese of New York announced that the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus, located at 307 East 33rd Street, would be merged into Our Lady of the Scapular-St. Stephen Church.
             
Allen Organ Company
Macungie, Penn.
Electronic tonal production
2 manuals


At some point, a two-manual Allen electronic organ was installed after the Kimball organ became unplayable. Specifications for this instrument have not yet been located.
               
W. W. Kimball Co.
Chicago, Ill. – K.P.O. 6567 (1920)
Electro-pneumatic stop action
4 manuals, 43 stops, 22 ranks?


The main organ is located in the [liturgical] west gallery, with the console and Chancel organ in the south transept gallery; the Echo organ is high up in the north transept. On either side of the west window are two cases that contain large non-speaking metal pipes which are believed to be from the 1854 Erben organ. The Chancel division plays the 5-stop Hilborne L. Roosevelt organ, Op. 53 (1879).

A plaque on the console states, "NEW ORGAN ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF OUR HIGH ALTAR 1870-1920 AND THE PASTORATE OF THE RIGHT-REVEREND PATRICK J. HAYES, D.D., AUXILIARY BISHOP OF NEW YORK, 1915-1919."

The following specification was recorded in an organ notebook by Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), noted concert organist of the early 20th century.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed with Choir
16
  Bourdon [unit]
97
4
  Wald Flute [Bourdon]
8
  Diapason Phonon
73
2 2/3
  Twelfth [Bourdon]
8
  Viola Diapason [unit]
85
2
  Fifteenth [Viola Diap.]
8
  Melodia [Bourdon]
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Gemshorn
73
    Chimes
EC
4
  Octave [Viola Diap.]
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [unit]
97
2
  Flautina [Bourdon]
8
  Open Diapason
73
8
  Horn
73
8
  Rohr Flute [Bourdon]
8
  Orchestral Oboe (Synth.)
8
  Violoncello (Synth.) *
         [8' Salcional + 2 2/3' Twelfth]  
8
  Viol d'Orchestre
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Viol Celeste
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Aeoline
73
    Vox Tremulant
4
  Flute d'Amour [Bourdon]
   
* Rohr Flute + V.d'Orch. + V.Celeste

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Viola Diapason
GT
2
  Piccolo [Bourdon]
GT
8
  Concert Flute [Bourdon]
GT
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Dulciana
73
    Tremulant  
4
  Forest Flute [Bourdon]
GT
       
               
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Echo Flute
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Viola Aetheria
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Vox Angelica
73
    Vox Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Acoustic Bass
16
  Gedeckt
SW
16
  Open Diapason [ext. GT]
12
8
  Flute [Bourdon]
GT
16
  Bourdon
GT
8
  Cello [Viola Diap.]
GT
               
Chancel Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Pedal Bourdon
12
8
  Dulciana
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
       
               
Couplers, etc. (placed departmentally)
    Great to Pedal 8'       Echo to Choir 8'  
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'       Choir to Swell 8'  
    Choir to Pedal 8'       Echo to Swell 8'  
    Echo to Pedal 8'       Swell 16', 4'  
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'       Choir 16', 4'  
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'       Echo 16', 4'  
    Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'          
               
Adjustable Pistons
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-0 affecting Great and Pedal stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-0 affecting Swell and Pedal stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-0 affecting Choir and Pedal stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-0 affecting Echo stops
    Toe Pistons No. 1-2-3 affecting Pedal stops
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced swell pedal to Echo     Sforzando pedal
    Balanced swell pedal to Great, Choir & Chancel   Chimes Damper
    Balanced swell pedal to Swell   Chimes Soft
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal      
               
Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 53 (1879)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 5 stops


The following specification was recorded by F.R. Webber in one of his "Organ Scrapbooks," now in the collection of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Webber wrote:
"The organ is in a corner of the east transept gallery. Now played from the console of the 4-manual Kimball west gallery organ. Sounds as a chancel organ. The case is crude. Diapasons displayed on the front and ends, – somewhat ordinary workmanship. Bourdons in the ends inside the case. "Pipes" of Diapason type painted in gilt on every swell shutter. Tonal quality good, but not distinguished."
               
Manual – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
58
       
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
       
8
  Dulciana
58
       
4
  Octave
58
       
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Bourdon
27
       
               
Henry Erben
New York City (1853)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 46 stops


The original organ in St. Stephen's Church was built by Henry Erben of New York City. According to the 1861 American Musical Directory, the organ had "3 banks of keys, 46 stops, 2 octaves pedals" and was "Built by H. Erben, in 1853." An article in the New York Herald (Mar. 23, 1854) describes the organ:
LARGE ORGAN.—There is on exhibition at Mr. Erben's organ manufactory one of the largest organs in the country, just completed by him for St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Twenty-eighth street. It is a very powerful instrument. The largest metal pipes are twenty inches in diameter and about thirty feet in length. There are nearly three thousand pipes in this organ. It has three banks of keys, besides the pedal organ. The organist sits with his back to the organ and faces the altar. It is twenty-nine feet in length, fifteen feet in depth, and forty-seven feet high. It will be removed to the church and performed on, on Easter Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Cummings is the pastor. No doubt the music will be of a superior character. The cost of the instrument, exclusive of the case, is $7,000. From the above dimensions, it will be seen that these organs are as large as houses, and cost as much as those of the first class.
Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     American Musical Directory. New York: Thomas Hutchinson, 1861.
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Farnam, Lynnwood. "Organ Notebook," pp. 13521-13524 (specification of Kimball organ, K.P.O. 6567 (1920)). John de Lancie Library, The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia; Sally Branca, archivist. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     "Large Organ," New York Herald (Mar. 23, 1854). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of Roosevelt organ, Op. 53 (1879); courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     Lawson, Steven E. Exterior.