1886 photo of Louis Comfort Tiffany Residence - New York City (photo: New York Architecture Images)
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Louis Comfort Tiffany Residence

Madison Avenue at 72nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10021

Organ Specifications:
• II/ Estey Organ Company, Op. 1584 (1917)
II/23 Aeolian Company, Op. 925 (1902)

           
Louis Comfort Tiffany  
Louis Comfort Tiffany  
Louis Comfort Tiffany was born in 1848, the youngest son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who was a founder and principal owner of Tiffany & Company, and Harriet Olivia Avery Young. His older brother, Charles Comfort Tiffany, became the Episcopalian archdeacon of New York.

Before the 1880’s, Louis Tiffany lived in an apartment building on 26th Street, while his father maintained a house on Madison Avenue near 38th. In 1882, Charles Tiffany contracted with McKim, Mead & White to design a new residence on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, across from the Rhinelander Mansion. Louis assumed control of the project, working intensively with architect Stanford White to create one of the most unusual residences in New York. The 57-room mansion was completed in 1885, and while it is generally referred to as Louis Tiffany’s house, there were in fact three apartments. The first, on the first and second floors, was frequently said to be for Charles, although he never occupied it. The second apartment, taking up the third floor, was for Louis’s unmarried sister, Louise. The fourth and fifth floors contained the apartment for Louis.

The studio, on the upper floor of Tiffany’s duplex, was actually about three or four stories in total height, and featured a large space which was open to the gables. Suspended from the ceiling were decorative ironwork, brasses and glassware which created a mysterious atmosphere. Near the center of the studio was a four-hearth fireplace which rose from the floor like an Art Nouveau tree trunk culminating in a chimney made of concrete.

Louis Comfort Tiffany relied on the enormous financial and entrepreneurial resources of his father’s firm, Tiffany & Company.  Although Tiffany & Company and Tiffany Studios were two distinct and separate firms; Louis Tiffany was affiliated with both in an executive capacity. He was, therefore, able to advertise and sell Tiffany Studios’ products at Tiffany & Company, which proved to be a mutually advantageous arrangement, especially for retailing lamps and small accessories. Although Tiffany lamps, windows, and decorative accessories continued to be made through the 1920s, the heyday of production ended at the onset of World War I when European markets closed and tastes changed. His father’s firm, Tiffany & Company, still continues in operation serving customers at the main store in New York City and a host of branches throughout the world.

Louis married Mary Woodbridge Goddard on May 15, 1872, and had two sons and two daughters. After the death of his wife in 1884, he married Louise Wakeman Knox on November 9, 1886. Louis and Louise had one son and three daughters. In 1905, Tiffany built Laurelton Hall, a luxurious country estate in Oyster Bay, L.I., where he had the room to carry out his decorative ideas more fully. Although he spent less time in New York after Laurelton Hall was built, he died in the 72nd Street house in 1933. The Tiffany mansion was demolished in 1936 and replaced by a large apartment building.
         
Estey Organ Company
Brattleboro, Ver. – Opus 1584 (1917)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals

CHAPEL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

In 1917 the Estey Organ Company built a two-manual organ for the "Chapel of the Holy Spirit" in the Tiffany residence. This organ was moved at an unknown time to St. Martha's Chapel in the Bronx. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
         

Aeolian Organ, Op. 925 (1902) in the Studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany - New York City (photo: Organ Historical Society)
Aeolian Company
New York City – Opus 925 (1902)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 19 stops, 23 ranks



The Aeolian organ in Tiffany's Manhattan townhouse was installed on a balcony in the fifth floor studio, with the console located on the main floor of the 45-foot tall room. This organ did not have a pipe screen, and the console case was designed by Tiffany. Originally built in 1902 with 12 ranks, the organ was enlarged in 1907 with the addition of an 11-rank Echo division, plus harp and chimes, for a total of 23 ranks.
     
     
Manuale I – 61 notes, enclosed (3½" pressure)
8
  Principal Grande
61
4
  Flauto Ottava
61
8
  Violetta Marina
61
8
  Trombetta
61
8
  Flauto Primo
61
   
     
     
Manuale II – 61 notes, enclosed (3" pressure)
8
  Violono Primo
61
8
  Flauto Lontano
61
8
  Viola d'Amore
61
8
  Oboe di Caccia
61
8
  Voce Angelica (TC)
49
  Tremolo
     
     
Echo Organ (playable from Manuale I) – 61 notes (3½" pressure)
8
  Pastorita
61
4
  Flauto d'Amore
61
8
  Violino
61
  Serafieno Dolce (5 ranks)
275
8
  Violino Distante
61
8
  Voce Umana (in sep. box)
61
8
  Violino Distante Celeste
61
  Tremolo

   

   
Pedale – 30 notes (3" pressure)
16
  Contra Basso
30
8
  Flauto Grande
30
     
     
Percussions (playable from Manuales I and II)
8
  Arpa Grande – 49 notes
8
  Campanetta – 20 notes
     
     
Couplers
    Manual I to Manual II 8' 4'
     
    Manual I to Pedal
     
    Manual II to Pedal
     
     
     
Combination Pistons
    Manuals I and II: Piano, Mezzo, Forte
     
     
Pedal Movements
    Manual I to Pedal reversing
  Balanced Swell Pedal, Manual II
    Balanced Swell Pedal, Manual I
  Balanced Crescendo Pedal
           
Sources:
     Gray, Christopher. "The Mansion That Got Away," The New York Times (Oct. 29, 2006).
     Smith, Rollin. The Aeolian Pipe Organ and its Music. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1998.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of Aeolian Organ, Op. 925 (1902).

Illustrations:
     Exterior: New York Architecture Images web site: http://www.nyc-architecture.com
     Studio: Organ Historical Society