Charles M. Schwab Residence "Riverside" - New York City (photo: Library of Congress)
Click on images to enlarge
Charles M. Schwab Residence
"Riverside"


Riverside Drive and 73rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10023


Organ Specifications:
IV/74 Aeolian Company, Op. 1032 (1907, 1919)
II/33 Aeolian Company, Op. 961 (1904)


Charles M. Schwab

 
Charles Michael Schwab was born on February 18, 1862 into a German Catholic family in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Loretto, Pennsylvania, which he would always consider his "home town". He attended Saint Francis College, now Saint Francis University, but left after two years to find work in Pittsburgh. He started as a stake driver in Andrew Carnegie's steelworks and in 1897, at the age of 35, he become president of the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1901, with the blessings of Andrew Carnegie, his mentor, he negotiated the secret buyout of Carnegie Steel to a group of New York-based financiers led by J.P. Morgan. After the buyout, Schwab became the first president of the U.S. Steel Corporation, the company formed out of Carnegie's former holdings.

  Charles M. Schwab Residence "Riverside" - New York City
Schwab eventually moved to New York City where he purchased the grounds of the New York Orphan Asylum which occupied a full block bounded by Riverside Drive, 73rd and 74th Streets, and West End Avenue. At the time, the Upper West Side was considered to be on the "wrong side" of Central Park, and developers' hopes of luring the rich from their east side apartments were never fully realized. On this property he built "Riverside", designed by French architect Maurice Hebert in the French Renaissance château style, and based on the three Loire Valley châteaux of Chenonceaux, Blois, and Azay-le-Rideu. Construction on "Riverside" started in 1901 and lasted six years. The mansion, which was set in its own landscaped park, was faced with cream-colored granite and brick, and had a belfry with chimes and 116-foot-high pinnacles. There were garages for four cars, a separate receiving lodge for goods, and a service tunnel buried beneath the garden terraces. Its seventy-five rooms included the Grand Court with two levels of balconies on three sides overlooking the central staircase, a Roman bath-style swimming pool, a Rip Van Winklesque bowling alley, and a card room where millionaires gambled with high stakes and played bridge at $1 a point.

Mr. Schwab enjoyed a lavish lifestyle befitting his wealth and became renowned for hosting musicales at "Riverside" with such musicians as Enrico Caruso and Fritz Kreisler. He was also a philanthopist and great supporter of the arts. But he was also notorious for his "fast lane" lifestyle including opulent parties, high stakes gambling, and a string of extramarital affairs producing at least one illegitimate child. Even before the stock market crash of 1929, he had spent most of the fortune, estimated to be between $25 million and $40 million. He had been unable to pay property taxes on "Riverside" since 1933, and in 1936 he unsuccessfully tried to sell the mansion to the city for only $4 million. Schwab closed the house in 1939 and moved into a small apartment on Park Avenue where he died on September 18 that same year. After Schwab's death, New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia turned down a proposal to make the mansion the official mayoral residence, considering it to be too grandiose. "Riverside" was vacant until 1948 when it was razed and replaced by a drab apartment building.

Charles M. Schwab was not related to Charles R. Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation.
           
 

Aeolian Organ, Op. 1032 (1919) in the Charles Schwab Residence, "Riverside" - New York City (photo: Organ Historical Society)

Aeolian Company
New York City – Opus 1032 (1907, 1919)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 66 stops, 74 ranks



Aeolian Organ, Op. 1032 (1919) in the Charles Schwab Residence, "Riverside" - New York City (Aeolian Company brochure)

 
At the behest of Archer Gibson, private organist to Charles Schwab, the 1904 Aeolian Organ was rebuilt and doubled in size at a cost of $21,500. With 62 ranks, this was Aeolian's first four-manual organ, and their first to include a 32' pedal stop. In 1919, at a cost of $23,457.50, the organ was extensively altered and another 12 ranks were added. Archer Gibson, who was retained for $10,000 per annum, recorded the Schwab organ in 1921, making them some of the earliest recordings of organ music. In 1932, the National Broadcasting Company engaged Gibson to play a series of Wednesday night radio broadcasts from the Schwab mansion.

As "Riverside" was about to be razed in 1948, the organ was purchased from the wrecking company by Eric Sexton of New Canaan, Conn. Mr. Sexton partially installed the organ in his house in Camden, Maine. The Schwab console shell was given to Charles Courboin, Sexton's former teacher, who displayed it in his apartment in Washington Heights.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, unenclosed (5" wind pressure; 4" for Mixtures)
16
  String (deep)
61
4
  Diapason (high)
61
8
  Diapason F
61
4
  Flute (high)
61
8
  Diapason MF
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Diapason P
61
    Mixture F (5 ranks)
305
8
  Flute F
61
    Mixture P (5 ranks)
305
8
  String F
61
16
  Trumpet (deep)
61
8
  String F Vibrato
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Flute P
61
4
  Trumpet (high)
61
8
  String P
61
    Tremolo  
8
  String P Vibrato
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (3½" wind pressure)
16
  Flute (deep)
73
4
  Flute (high)
73
8
  Flute
73
    Mixture V ranks
305
8
  String
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  String Vibrato [TC]
61
8
  Oboe
73
8
  String P
73
8
  Vox Humana F
73
8
  String P Vibrato [TC]
61
8
  Vox Humana P
73
8
  String PP
73
    Tremolo  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed (3½" wind pressure)
8
  Diapason *
73
4
  Flute (high)
73
8
  Flute F
73
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  String F
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  String MF
73
8
  Clarinet [free reed]
73
8
  String MF Vibrato [TC]
61
    Tremolo  
8
  String P
73
   
* unenclosed
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" wind pressure)
(also playable on Manual I)
8
  Diapason
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Flute
73
8
  Clarinet [striking reed]
73
8
  String FF
73
    Tremolo  
8
  String FF Vibrato [TC]
61
       
               
Echo-Antiphonal Organ – 61 notes, unenclosed (3½" wind pressure)
(playable on Manuals II, III & IV)
8
  Flute
73
8
  String P
73
8
  String F
73
8
  String P Vibrato [TC]
61
8
  String F Vibrato [TC]
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  String MF
73
    Tremolo  
8
  String MF Vibrato [TC]
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes (3" wind pressure)
16
  Diapason FF (deep)
30
16
  String P (deep)
GT
16
  Diapason F (deep)
30
8
  Diapason F [ext. 16']
12
16
  Diapason MF (deep)
30
8
  Flute
30
16
  Flute F (deep)
30
16
  Trombone F (deep)
30
16
  String F (deep)
30
16
  Trumpet P (deep)
GT
16
  Flute P (deep)
SW
       
               
Percussions
Chimes, F & P control (playable on I, II, and II)   Small Drum Roll  
Harp (49 notes), F & P control (playable on I, II, III, and Ped)   Cymbals  
Echo Harp (old) (playable on Man. I, II, and III)   Triangle  
Large Drum Strike     Tambourine Jingles  
Large Drum Roll     Castanets  
Small Drum Strike     Tutti (all except Harp and Chimes)
               
Couplers
Unison
Octave
Sub
Pedal
III to II I I I
II to I II II II
I to II III III III
IV to I IV Solo IV Solo IV
IV to II Echo-Antiphonal Echo-Antiphonal III Octave
IV to III I Octave to II I Sub to II Divide
  III Octave to I III Sub to II Harp
  III Octave to II III Sub to I  
       
Adjustible Combination Pistons (located under Manual III)
Six adjustable Tutti Combinations and Release, acting on entire organ, including all couplers, Harp, and Chimes. To be spaced between sharp keys. A - B - C - D - E - F - 0
               
Stop-Action and Combination Piston Connection (located under Manual II)
               
Manual Connection Pistons
"On" and "Off" pistons under respective tablet frames connecting different organs with manuals specified.
Manual I Solo Manual III Echo-Antiphonal
Manual II Echo-Antiphonal and Choir Manual IV Solo and Echo-Antiphonal
               
Accessories
Sforzando Tremolos, listed with respective divisions
Tonal     are controlled by "On" and "Off" pistons
Exp. Pedals: Choir, Swell, Echo-Antiphonal All Pedal Couplers On
Loud Pedal Off All Pedal Couplers Off
           
Aeolian Company
New York City – Opus 961 (1904)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 31 stops, 33 ranks


The original organ in "Riverside" was built in 1904 by the Hutchings-Votey Company of Detroit for the Aeolian Company. Located in the grand court, the organ was installed in chambers speaking from the second and third levels into the 40-foot high room with coffered ceiling. The two-manual drawknob console had a Gothic shell, and was placed in a chapel-like alcove on the landing of the grand staircase. In 1905, Aeolian added, at a cost of $5,500, several percussion stops: Large Drum, Small Drum, Cymbals, Triangle, Castanets, Tambourine Jingles, Campanetta (Chimes), and Arpa Grande (Harp). In 1906, Aeolian added a Vox Humana to Manual II, and in 1907, the organ was rebuilt and greatly enlarged as Op. 1032. Following are the 1904 specifications.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Principale Grande
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
8
  Viola Pomposa
61
2
  Flauto Piccolo
61
8
  Viola Marina [TC]
49
8
  Corno di Bassetto
61
8
  Dolcino
61
8
  Trombetta
61
8
  Corno di Caccia
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Violina Ottava
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bordone
61
8
  Flauto Lontano
61
8
  Violoncello
61
4
  Flauto Ottava
61
8
  Violino Primo
61
    Serafino V ranks
305
8
  Viola Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Oboe di Caccia
61
8
  Vox Angelica
61
8
  Baritono
61
8
  Quinta
61
    Tremolo  
               
Echo Organ (playable from Great and Swell) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Viol Sordino
61
4
  Violetta
61
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
8
  Voce Umana
61
8
  Flauto Dolce
49
    Tremolo  

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Basso Profundo
30
16
  Basso Minore
SW
16
  Violon
30
8
  Flauto Grande [ext.]
12
16
  Contra Basso
30
       
           
Sources:
     Carnegie, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie. London: Constable & Co., Ltd., 1920.
     Lewis, James. Specifications of Aeolian Organ, Op. 961 (1904).
     New York Architecture Images web site: www.nyc-architecture.com
     "Sale Stirs Ghosts in Schwab Mansion," The New York Times (Oct. 22, 1947).
     Salwen, Peter. Upper West Side Story: A History and Guide. New York: Abbeville Press, 1989.
     "Schwab Dies at 77 in His Home Here," The New York Times (Sept. 19, 1939).
     Smith, Rollin. The Aeolian Pipe Organ and its Music. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1998. Specifications of Aeolian Organ, Op. 1032 (1907, 1919).
     "Views of Charles M. Schwab's New Home," The New York Times, May 15, 1904.

Illustrations:
     Carnegie, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie. London: Constable & Co., Ltd., 1920. Photo of Charles M. Schwab.
     Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Exterior.
     New York Architecture Images web site. Closeup exterior.
     Organ Historical Society. Closeup of Aeolian Organ console, Op. 1032 (1919).
     "Views of Aeolian Pipe Organs," brochure published by the Aeolian Company. Grand Staircase and Console of Aeolian Organ, Op. 1032 (1919). Courtesy James Lewis.