David S. Brown Residence

Riverside Drive and 102nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10025

David Seymour Brown II was born in New York City on April 13, 1839. In 1872, he and his brother, Delphaine, succeeded their father in the family soapmaking business. David S. Brown & Co. was known for its "Satin Gloss" soap, a laundry soap having a pleasant perfume and priced low enough so that even the poorest could afford it. For many years, the company had its salesrooms and factory at the foot of Bank Street at the North (Hudson) River. In 1897, the city took over this property to build six piers for the White Star Line, and David S. Brown & Co. built new facilities along the North River between 51st and 52nd Streets.

In October 1894, David S. Brown purchased the plot on the southeast corner of Riverside Drive and West 102nd Street for $105,000. He then commissioned architect Henry F. Kilburn to design a house for the irregularly-shaped property that measured 103 by 153 by 100 by 172 feet. A month later, on December 27, 1894, he married Florence Obendofer (1869-1937) at her home, located at 128 East 73rd Street. The Browns resided on Riverside Drive until 1910, when they moved to 881 West End Avenue. The Riverside Drive house was sold to a developer who built a 12-story apartment building on the site.

David S. Brown died at the age of 75 on June 19, 1914, in New York City.

Aeolian Organ, Op. 802 (1895) in the David S. Brown Residence - New York City (Aeolian Company brochure)

Aeolian Company
New York City – Opus 802 (1895)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 12 stops, 11 ranks

The Aeolian organ installed in David S. Brown's Residence was actually built by the Farrand & Votey Organ Co. of Detroit, Mich., for the Aeolian Company. Farrand & Votey's specification, dated December 5, 1895, shows that the organ cost $3,200, but the amount of ($3,000) is written above that figure.

Following is the text from an Aeolian Company brochure that described the Aeolian organ in the Davd S. Brown Residence:
"This organ has been specially built to occupy a space at the rear end of the main hall, and is twenty feet high, sixteen feet wide, and five feet deep, being built to this height in two stories to economize depth. Around this spacious hall is a gallery leading to the different parts of the house — an ideal place for listening to the instrument as well as allowing the tone to diffuse through all parts of the building. The organ is blown by an electric motor situated in the cellar, attached to an independent bellows plant located there, thus avoiding all bellows mechanism in the organ proper. Case is designed to match the interior architectural woodwork of the residence, and is made of quartered oak, ornamented and carved, and surmounted by symmetrically arranged front pipes, decorated in gold and colors to conform to other existing mural decorations."
After the Brown Residence was sold in 1910, the organ was acquired by W. F. Blackman of Winter Park, Florida, and was later moved to Rollins College in Winter Park, where Blackman had been one of the first presidents.
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
  Open Diapason
  Flauto Traverso
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
  Viol di Gamba
  Lieblich Gedeckt
  Vox Celeste [TC]
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
  Flute [ext.]
    Swell to Great   Great Octaves
    Swell to Great Sub-octaves   Swell to Pedal
    Swell to Great Octaves   Great to Pedal
    Swell Octaves    
    Tremulant   Great Organ Forte
    Wind-indicator   Great Organ Piano
    Swell to Aeolian   Swell Organ Forte
    Great to Aeolian   Swell Organ Piano
    Pedal to Aeolian   Great to Pedal-reversing Pedal
    Aeolian Tempo   Balanced Crescendo Pedal
    Aeolian Return   Balanced Swell Pedal
     Aeolian Company brochure. Specifications and photo of Aeolian Organ, Op. 802 (1895) in David S. Brown Residence, New York City. Courtesy James Lewis.
     "In the Real Estate Field," The New York Times, October 20, 1894.
     Smith, Rollin. The Aeolian Pipe Organ and its Music. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1998.
     "$30,000,000 For Loft Buildings North of Fourteenth St.," The New York Times, March 13, 1910.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of Farrand & Votey organ (1895).
     Year Book of Architectuarl League of New York, 1897.

     Aeolian Company brochure. Photo of Aeolian Organ, Op. 802 (1895) in the David S. Brown Residence, New York City. Courtesy James Lewis.