Park Avenue United Methodist Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
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Park Avenue United Methodist Church

106 East 86th Street at Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10125
http://www.parkavemethodist.org



Organ Specifications:
106 East 86th Street at Park Avenue (since 1926)
III/42 Schantz Organ Co., Op. 1022; rev. Glück (2010)
III/41 Schantz Organ Company, Op. 1022 (1971)
III/25 Skinner Organ Company, Op. 587 (1926)
1031 Park Avenue at 86th Street (1885-1926)
• II/25 Hook & Hastings, Op. 1151 (1883)




The Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1837, “in a building opposite Hazard’s Tavern, in a room above a rum-selling store,” at what today is Third Ave and 85th Street. The pastor of John Street Methodist Chapel rode his horse up to Yorkville to conduct services in private homes. Yorkville was then a small rural village of open farms, fields, and country lanes.

Soon after incorporation, the congregation purchased a corner plot, next to the railroad. The building was contributed to by then-neighbor, John Jacob Astor, and included solid oak timbers from the famed 1768 John Street Church – the first Methodist Church built in America, in the present Wall Street area. That building was destroyed by fire, but a new brick building was erected to serve the congregation for the next 24 years. By the 1880s, Yorkville's population had increased dramatically, and the old church was no longer large enough for the congregation.

Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church - New York City (Harper's Weekly, March 1884)  
The second church, built from 1882-84, was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady "in the Baronial style of architecture of the fifteenth century." An imposing solid gray stone exterior was dominated by an unbuttressed 150-foot tower that was topped with a steeply pitched red tile roof. Six entrances from Park Avenue led into a spacious lobby with a lofty ceiling, from which one entered the 1000-seat rectangular auditorium that had deep galleries on three sides. On the east side was the large preaching platform, behind which were seats for the choir and large organ pipes. Under the pulpit was placed one of the timbers from the John Street Church. The room was decorated in red cherry wood and neutral tints, and soft, natural light came through pale blue windows. On the south side of the property was a chapel devoted to the church classrooms, above which was a 500-seat lecture room for church meetings and the Sunday school. The total cost of the church, including property and furnishings, was $153,500. On March 23, 1884, the new church was dedicated with services in the morning, afternoon and evening.

  Park Avenue United Methodist Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
By the 1920s, the church had fallen into disrepair and the congregation decided that new construction was less expensive than restoration. The church hired architect Henry C. Pelton, who had just built the Park Avenue Baptist Church (and would soon begin on the Riverside Church), to design a new church and adjacent apartment building. Pelton's plans were to erect a 15-story apartment building on the corner, and to site the church so that it fronted 86th Street. The Byzantine-inspired church would include a 537-seat auditorium on the ground floor, with two floors above for the Sunday School, social rooms and a pastor's study. The church then entered a renewable 21-year lease with the Heghar Corporation, who would "build the new church structure, set aside a seven-room suite on the tenth floor of the apartment house as a home for the pastor, provide for the upkeep of the outside of the church building and continuous heat for the church, and guarantee the congregation a minimum rental of $10,000 annually with a maximum of 40 per cent of the net income of the building." At the end of sixty-three years the entire property would revert to the church corporation. Within a few years, the stock market would crash in late October 1929. The church had envisioned securing its financial future in the rental of the apartments next door, but the economic woes of the Depression put the church into debt, and by 1937 the congregation was in danger of losing its property. After many years of struggling, the church decided to divest itself of the apartments in the 1950s.
             
  Console of Schantz Organ, Op. 1022 (1971) revised by Sebastian Gluck (2010) - Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Schantz Organ Company
Orrville, Ohio – Opus 1022 (1971)
Revised by Sebastian Glück (2010)
Electro-pneumatic action
Solid State combination action
3 manuals, 52 registers, 32 stops, 42 ranks






After nearly forty years of dependable service, the 1971 Schantz organ was in need of a thorough cleaning and non-routine maintenance. The church contracted with Sebastian Glück of New York City to provide necessary work while keeping the organ at least partially playable for services. First, the pipes of each division were removed in stages from the chambers and cleaned, chests were releathered and new reservoirs were installed. As divisions were reinstalled, the organ was rewired to comply with current electrical codes. In the Swell division, the Trompette and Hautbois-Clairon were replaced with new pipes, and the wind pressures were raised slightly. Two other stops were added: an independent 16' Sub Bass in the Pedal and a set of Chimes in the Choir. Glück also regulated and revoiced much of the organ as necessary. Finally, the Schantz console was updated with a new solid-state combination action, and new jambs were installed to accomodate a few additional stops and couplers.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, unenclosed
16
  Quintadehn
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Principal (1-8 from PED)
53
16
  Basson +
SW
8
  Spitzflöte +
PED
8
  Trumpet
PED
8
  Chimney Flute
61
8
  Basson +
SW
4
  Octave
61
    Great to Great 16'  
4
  Open Flute
61
    Great Silent  
2
  Super Octave
61
       
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Viole de Gambe
61
16
  Basson
73
8
  Voix Celeste
61
8
  Trompette *
61
8
  Bourdon (fr. 16')
8
  Basson (fr. 16')
4
  Principal
61
4
  Clairon * +
61
4
  Flûte à Fuseau
61
    Tremulant  
2 2/3
  Nasard (TC)
49
    Swell to Swell 16'  
2
  Quart de Nasard
61
    Swell Silent  
1 3/5
  Tierce (TC)
49
    Swell to Swell 4'  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
    Main section       Ancillary section  
8
  Open Wood Flute
61
8
  Spitzflöte +
PED
8
  Voce Dolce
61
4
  Spitzflöte +
PED
8
  Ondulazione (TC)
49
8
  Trumpet
GT
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Basson +
SW
2
  Recorder
61
   
Chimes +
25 tubes
1 1/3
  Nineteenth (TC)
49
    Choir to Choir 16'  
    Acuta III ranks
183
    Choir Silent  
8
  Krummhorn
61
    Choir to Choir 4'  
    Tremulant          
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Principal
56
4
  Fifteenth (fr. 16' Princ.)
16
  Sub Bass * +
32
2
  Spitzflöte (fr. 8')
16
  Bourdon
SW
    Mixture III ranks
96
16
  Quintadehn
GT
16
  Posaune
73
10 2/3
  Contra Quint +
SW
16
  Basson +
SW
8
  Octave (fr. 16' Princ.)
8
  Trumpet (fr. 16' Posaune)
8
  Spitzflöte
73
4
  Krummhorn
CH
8
  Bourdon
SW
       
             
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Choir to Swell 8' +
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Choir 8' +
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Great/Choir Transfer +
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Pedal on Choir +
           
* new pipes (2010)
           
+ added stops (2010)
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Choir to Pedal (thumb & toe)
    Swell to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Sforzando (thumb & toe)
               
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great/Choir Transfer Indicator Light
    Balanced Choir Pedal   Sforzando Indicator Light
   
Crescendo Pedal
 
Signal Light
               

Schantz Organ, Op. 1022 (1971) at Park Avenue United Methodist Church - New York City (Photo: Schantz Organ Company)
   
Schantz Organ Company
Orrville, Ohio – Opus 1022 (1971)
Electro-pneumatic key, stop and combination action
3 manuals, 46 registers, 31 stops, 41 ranks



In 1971, a new organ was built by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio. Pipes were installed in existing chambers at the chancel end of the nave and behind the 1926 Skinner organ case. The three-manual drawknob console was located on the right side of the chancel. Specifications were drawn up by Dr. Robert Baker, consultant, in conjunction with Lyndon Woodside, organist of the church.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, unenclosed
16
  Quintaton
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Principal
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Trompete (ext. PED)
29
4
  Octave
61
    Great to Great 16'  
4
  Spitzflöte
61
    Great Unison Off  
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Holzbordun
73
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Holzbordun (fr. 16')
16
  Contra Fagotto
73
8
  Viola
61
8
  Trompette
61
8
  Viola Celeste
61
8
  Fagotto (fr. 16')
4
  Prinzipal
61
4
  Hautbois-Clairon
61
4
  Koppelflöte
61
    Tremulant  
2 2/3
  Nazard (TC)
49
 
  Swell to Swell 16'  
2
  Weitprincipal
61
 
  Swell Unison Off  
1 3/5
  Tierce (TC)
49
    Swell to Swell 4'  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Holzflöte
61
    Mixture III ranks
183
8
  Flauto Dolce
61
8
  Cromorne
61
8
  Flute Celeste (TC)
49
8
  Trompete
PED
4
  Gemshorn
61
    Choir to Choir 16'  
2
  Waldflöte
61
    Choir Unison Off  
1 1/3
  Larigot (TC)
49
    Choir to Choir 4'  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant (from SW 16')
4
  Spitzflöte (fr. 16')
16
  Principal
56
2
  Spitzflöte (fr. 16')
16
  Quintaton
GT
    Mixture III ranks
96
16
  Holzbordun
SW
16
  Posaune
44
8
  Principal (fr. 16')
16
  Contra Fagotto
SW
8
  Spitzflöte
56
8
  Posaune (fr. 16')
8
  Holzbordun
SW
4
  Cromorne
CH
4
  Principal (fr. 16')
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb & toe)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Choir to Pedal (thumb)
    Swell to Pedal (thumb)   Sforzando (thumb & toe)
               
Expression
    Balanced Swell Pedal    
    Balanced Choir Pedal    
   
Crescendo Pedal
   
               

Skinner Organ Case, Op. 587 (1926)  at Park Avenue United Methodist Church - New York City (Photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 587 (1926)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 27 registers, 21 stops, 25 ranks







The first organ in the present church building was built in 1926 by the Skinner Organ Company of Boston. Skinner provided an attractive organ case on the left side of the chancel, and pipes were also located in two chambers on the nave side of the chancel arch. Factory worksheets show a larger organ was originally planned that included an Echo Organ with four stops and chimes. In 1947, the organ and console were overhauled by Louis F. Mohr & Co., and the prepared-for Tuba Mirabilis was installed.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, unenclosed (7½" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon (ext. PED)
17
4
  Octave
61
8
  First Diapason
61
   
Mixture IV ranks
preparation
8
 
Second Diapason
preparation
8
  Tuba Mirabilis *
61
8
  Claribel Flute
61
8
 
French Horn
preparation
8
 
Erzahler
preparation
   
* 12" w.p., enclosed in Choir swell box
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (7½" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Flute Triangulaire
73
8
  Diapason
73
2
 
Flautina
preparation
8
  Gedeckt
73
    Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Voix Celeste
73
8
  Flugel Horn
73
8
  Flauto Dolce
73
    Vox Humana
73
8
  Flute Celeste (TC)
61
 
  Tremolo  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" wind pressure)
8
  Concert Flute
73
8
  Harp (TC)
8
  Dulciana
73
4
 
Celesta
61 bars
4
  Flute
73
  Tremolo  
8
  Clarinet
73
 
   
               
Echo Organ (playable from Great) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
 
Chimney Flute
preparation
8
 
Vox Humana
preparation
8
 
Cor de Nuit
preparation
   
Chimes
preparation
8
 
Unda Maris II ranks
preparation
   
Tremolo
preparation
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (5" wind pressure)
16
  Sub Bass
44
8
  Still Gedeckt
SW
16
  Bourdon
44
16
 
Trombone
preparation
16
  Echo Bourdon
SW
8
 
Tromba
preparation
8
  Octave (fr. Sub Bass)
    Chimes
EC
8
  Gedeckt (fr. Bourdon)
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'  
Echo on Great off
)
Push buttons in Great right key cheek
Great on Echo off
)
Both on
)
Release
)
    Great to Pedal 8'  
    Choir to Pedal 8'  
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'  
    Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'    
    Great to Great 4'    
    Swell to Swell 16', 4'    
    Choir to Choir 16', 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb) Ped. to Man. Combs. On/Off
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb) Ped. to Man. Combs. On/Off
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb) Ped. to Man. Combs. On/Off
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb & toe)  
  General Cancel  
               
Mechanicals
    Echo Expression Pedal   Sforzando
    Choir Expression Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Swell Expression Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
               
Hook & Hastings
Boston, Mass. – Opus 1151 (1883)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 25 registers


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolianskinner.organsociety.org/
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Kinzey, Allen. Specifications of Skinner Organ, Op. 587 (1926).
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     "Methodists in a New Home," The New York Times (Mar. 24, 1884).
     "Opening a New Chapel," The New York Times (June 4, 1883).
     "Park Av. Methodist Church Stone Laid," The New York Times (Mar. 24, 1926).
     "Park Ave. Methodist Faces Loss of Home," The New York Times (Apr. 26, 1937).
     Schantz Organ Company advertisement, The American Organist (Jan. 1972). Specifications of Schantz Organ, Op. 1022 (1971).
     Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York City: The Monacelli Press, 1999.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory worksheets and drawings for Skinner Organ, Op. 587 (1926).
     Van Pelt, William T., compiler. The Hook Opus List, 1829-1916 in Facsimile. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1991.

Illustrations:
     Harper's Weekly (March 1884). Exterior of J.C. Cady building.
     Lawson, Steven E. Exterior; interior; Skinner organ case; Schantz Organ console, rev. Sebastian Gluck.
     Schantz Organ Company. Console of Schantz Organ, Op. 1022 (1971).