Seamen's Church Institute (Water Street) - New York City
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Seamen's Church Institute

241 Water Street at Beekman Street
New York, N.Y. 10038
http://www.seamenschurch.org

Organ Specifications:
241 Water Street (since 1991)
• unknown – St. Nicholas Chapel
15 State Street (1968-1991)
• unknown
25 South Street (1906-1968)
• II/8 Hall Organ Co. (1928) – Auditorium/Theater
• II/ Hall Organ Co. (c.1906) – Our Savior Chapel
• Unknown – Small Chapel
Church of the Holy Comforter
341 West Houston Street (1888-1923):
II/13 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 250 (1888)
Floating Chapel of the Holy Comforter
Hudson River off Dey Street (1846-1868):
• Geo. Jardine
Floating Church of Our Savior
Moored off Pike Street
Second Church (1870-1910):
• I/4 Geo. Jardine & Son (1869)
First Church (1844-burned 1866):
• Geo. Jardine (<1869)

First Floating Church of Our Savior (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
Church of Our Savior
(1844-burned 1866)
 
 
Second Floating Church of Our Savior (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
Church of Our Savior
(1870-1910)
A small group of Episcopal men founded The Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) on the dangerous lower East Side waterfront of New York City in 1834. Their first "facility" was the Floating Church of Our Savior, built in 1844 and moored off Pike Street on the East River to serve the wandering seafarers who arrived at the Port of New York from around the world. Sailors got "Shanghaiied", knock-out drops in drinks, robbed. This floating church burned in 1866 and was replaced with a new floating church in 1870. The second Church of Our Savior was used until 1910, after which it was towed to Mariners' Harbor in Staten Island to become All Saints' Episcopal Mission Chapel.

Floating Chapel of the Holy Comforter (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
Chapel of the Holy Comforter (1846-1856)
 
Something about Floating Chapel of the Holy Comforter goes here. Moored in the "North River" (now Hudson) off Dey Street.








  Church of the Holy Comforter at 341 West Houston Street (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
Church of the Holy Comforter (1888-1923)
Something about Church of the Holy Comforter at 341 West Houston Street goes here. 1888-1923. Deconsecrated and land sold. Had Odell 250 (1888).









Seamen's Church Institute, 25 South Street - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
Seamen's Church Institute 25 South Street (1906-1968)
 
At the beginning of the 20th century SCI built a twelve-story building at 25 South Street. The building opened in 1913 with the signal flags KFD "welcome" flying from the flag mast. The main door was guarded by "Sir Galahad," a ship's figurehead of unknown origin, beside it a bell, salvaged from the passenger steamer Atlantic, wrecked in 1846 on Long Island Sound. It rings out the hour and half hour. The mission was "protect and to empower the weak." Dormitories and rooms were available for 580 seamen and 25 South Street became a haven for the young and old seafarer after a long voyage. By 1916, the dormitories and rooms were filled by noon. In the 1916 SCI magazine, The Lookout, editor Katharine Lane Spaeth stated, "They [the seafarers] were far from the rough rascals of land lubber's imagination; they work hard and send much of their earnings home, despite the tradition that the deep-sea sailor is an irresponsible rover."

In 1917, a memorial to the Titanic was placed on the roof of the building along with a light and a raised ball that was lowered at noon for ships anchored in the harbor to set their clocks. The Memorial is now located at the comer of Water and Fulton Streets.

By 1919, the SCI had 240 employees to carry out the practical work at the Port of New York. Seafarers themselves thought practical first and church second, third or fourth. Religious work was lumped together with all the other required work. A sign in the lobby at the hotel desk read, "This Institute is willing to help men who help themselves."

Under the direction of Reverend Dr. Archibald Mansfield (Superintendent) as the director was then called, the hotel had a lunch counter, medical clinic, laundry facility, lost and found department, reading room, (stocked with foreign newspapers and magazines), writing room and in the basement a storage area for baggage while at sea. He established a Savings Department and if the depositor wished, the Institute would deposit his money for him at the Seamen's Bank for Savings, the Union Square Savings Bank or the Immigrant Savings Bank. Mansfield also started a Navigation and Marine Engineering School, a Post Office and, yes, there was a chapel.

Seamen's Church Institute, 25 South Street - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
15 State Street
(1968-1991)
 
In 1961, the Institute was faced with a decision, due to the increase of office buildings in downtown. The Institute could raze the 25 South Street building and rebuild or sell and move. The decision was to move, a new 18-story building was completed in December 1968 at 15 State Street at Battery Park with a capacity to accommodate 340 seafarers. The 1913 cornerstone, ship's bell and many bronze memorial plaques were installed at the new facility.

During the mid-1980s, hotel bookings at the Institute at 15 State Street were at a low point. The new intermodal containerships were in port for a shorter period, not long enough for American sailors to need a room. The older "tramp" ships were being crewed by Third World seafarers who were so poorly paid they could not afford to stay even with the low rates. In 1985, the Board of Directors agreed to sell the 15 State Street building for over $29 million, which allowed the Institute to continue its work in serving seafarers.

In 1991, the present SCI Headquarters at 241 Water Street opened. It is located in the Historic Buildings section, called South Street Seaport Museum.
               
  St. Nicholas Chapel in the Seamen's Church Institute (Water Street) - New York City
Organ in St. Nicholas Chapel at 241 Water Street:

Unknown


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Organ in 15 State Street: Unknown

Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Organ in Theatre/Auditorium at 25 South Street:

Hall Organ Company

West Haven, Conn. (1928)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 8 ranks


In 1968, this organ was moved to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on East 14th Street where it was rebuilt and installed by Mel Robinson. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
  Console of Hall Organ (c.1906) in Chapel of Our Savior at Seamen's Church Institute, 25 South Street - New York City (photo: Episcopal Diocese of New York)
Organ in Chapel at 25 South Street:

Hall Organ Company
West Haven, Conn. (c.1906)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals

Chapel of Our Savior at Seamen's Church Institute, 25 South Street - New York City (photo: Episcopal Diocese of New York)  










Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
  Small Chapel at Seamen's Church Institute, 25 South Street - New York City (photo: Episcopal Diocese of New York)
Organ in Small Chapel at 25 South Street:

Unknown





Looks like an organ on the left side. Hammond or reed? Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Organ in Church of the Holy Comforter:

J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 250 (1888)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 13 stops, 13 ranks


The Articles of Agreement for this organ, dated February 15, 1888, show that Cornelius Vanderbilt agreed to pay $2,000 to the J.H. & C.S. Odell Company for an organ to be installed in the "Seamens Mission Chapel on Houston St. near West St., New York City." Odell's organ was based on their standard "Specification No. 9", altered to include a Cornopean instead of the usual Oboe on the Swell manual. The two-manual and pedal organ had 13 ranks and included a case of quartered oak that measured 16 ft. high by 11 ft. 3 in. wide by 7 ft. 3 in. deep.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Wald Flute
46
8
  Keraulophon [grooved bass]
46
4
  Octave
58
8
  Melodia [TC]
46
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Unison Bass
12
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Violina
58
8
  Dulciana
46
2
  Flautino
58
8
  Clarionet Flute [TC]
46
8
  Cornopean [TC]
46
8
  Stopped Bass
12
  Tremolo
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Bourdon [large scale]
27
       
               
Mechanical Registers
    Swell to Great       Patent Reversible  
    Swell to Pedal       Bellows Signal  
    Great to Pedal       Balance Swell Pedal  
               
Composition Pedals on Great Organ
1.
  Piano          
2.
  Forte          
               
Organ in Floating Chapel of the Holy Comforter:

George Jardine
New York City
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
  Floating Church of the Holy Comforter (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (photo: Episcopal Diocese of New York)
  Organ in floating Church of Our Savior
George Jardine & Son
New York City (1869)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 6 stops, 6 ranks


In 1910, this organ was moved with the floating church to Mariners' Harbor, Staten Island, where the church became All Saints' Episcopal Mission.
               
Manual – 54 notes?
8
  Open Diapason [TC]
42
4
  Boehm Flute
54
8
  Stopped Diapason Bass
18
4
  Principal Treble [TF]
36
8
  Clarinet Flute [TF]
36
4
  Principal Bass
18
8
  Clariana [TF]
36
2
  Fifteenth
54
       

     
Pedal Organ – 18 notes?
  probably no stops, permanently coupled      
               
  First Floating Church of Our Savior (Seamen's Church Institute) - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York)
 
First Floating Church of Our Savior
(1844-burned 1866)
Organ in first Floating Church of Our Savior:

George Jardine
New York City (<1869)
Mechanical action


This organ burned with the floating church in 1866. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     "Bid Tearful Adieus To Floating Church," The New York Times, December 26, 1910.
     Seamen's Church Institute web site: http://www.seamenschurch.org
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     The Episcopal Diocese of New York; Wayne Kempen, Archivist.
     The Lookout, Vol. XXXV, No. 4 (April 1944). New York: Seamen's Church Institute of New York, 1944.
     McLaren, Robert T. "The Seamen's Church Institute," Sea Classics, March 2007.

Photos:
     The Episcopal Diocese of New York Archives: all non-color images; South Street Building exterior.
     Seamen's Church Institute web site: Water Street Building exterior; St. Nicholas Chapel.

     
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