Muhlenberg Chapel of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital - New York City
 
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St. Luke's Hospital

113th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10025

Organ Specifications:
114th Street at Amsterdam Avenue (since 1896)
II/12 M.P. Möller, Inc., Op. 9517 (1961)
II/9 Skinner Organ Company, Op. 301 (1920)
II/22 George S. Hutchings, Op. 381 (1895)
Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets (ca.1846-1896)
• Hall & Labagh (1885)


St. Luke's Hospital on Fifth Avenue and 54th Street - New York City  
St. Luke's Hospital on Fifth Avenue
 
William Augustus Muhlenberg (1796–1877), the rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, proposed an Episcopal hospital that would serve the city's poor without regard to their religious affiliation. The first patients were housed at the church, located on Sixth Avenue and 20th Street, until a site could be located for a hospital building. By the next year, a large plot on Fifth Avenue, between 54th and 55th Streets was purchased. Only a few blocks away was the land on which the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Patrick would be built, and also the area to which Columbia College would soon relocate. The hospital was a red brick, rectangular structure in the Early Romanesque Revival style, and included wings at each end. Twin towers flanked the central pavillion which contained a chapel. When the hospital opened in 1858, 54th Street was on the northern edge of town, but within a few years the area had been transformed with palatial mansions and prestigious churches. By 1885, the austere building to serve the poor seemed incongruous, and it had become medically obsolete. A committee was formed to seek a less congested area farther uptown.

  1910 photo of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Luke's Hospital - New York City (Library of Congress)
 
The Cathedral and St. Luke's Hospital
on Morningside Heights (1910)
In 1887, the decision was made to build the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Morningside Heights, with the hope that other institutions would relocate there to form a community to serve the spirit, body and mind. In 1892, land in Morningside Heights was purchased by three more institutions: St. Luke's Hospital, Columbia College, and Teachers College. The hospital would build on land immediately north of the cathedral, a location that would guarantee uninterrupted light and fresh air. The Building Committee held a design competition in which five well-known architects were paid $400 each to create proposals, while others could also submit designs, but without renumeration. The winner was the French Renaissance proposal of Ernest Flagg, who was related by marriage to Cornelius Vanderbilt II, chair of the hospital's executive committee. Vanderbilt had financed Flagg's European studies and considered him to be a surrogate son. Flagg was an inexperienced architect who had studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris but had not actually built anything to date. Flagg's winning design called for a central administration building capped with a prominent dome, with four pavillions on each side. All of the buildings would be faced in brick and stone. After delays in construction, patients were transferred to the new hospital in January 1896.

Muhlenberg Chapel is in a separate wing behind the administration building, and is modeled after seventeenth-century chapels found in French châteaus. Behind the altar is a large stained glass window on the theme of Christ the Consoler, surmounted by roundrels representing the Seven Acts of Mercy. Henry Holiday, the English stained-glass artist, designed and executed the window. Named in honor of the Rev. William A. Muhlenberg, the vaulted chapel interior is the most spectacular in the hospital, and is one of the great late nineteenth-century religious spaces in the city.
           
 

M.P. Möller Organ, Op. 1517 (1961) - Muhlenberg Chapel - St. Luke's Hospital, NYC

Organ in Muhlenberg Chapel:

M. P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 9517 (1961)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 12 ranks


In 1961, M.P. Möller built a new organ for the chapel. The two-manual instrument has 12 ranks and occupies the space where the previous organs by Hutchings and Skinner were installed. Möller removed the Hutchings case in favor of exposed pipes of the Great division.
               
Great Organ(Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Rohrflöte
61
    Great Unison Off  
4
  Principal
61
    Swell to Great 16'  
2 2/3
  Nasat
61
    Swell I to Great  
2
  Octavin
61
    Swell II to Great  

             
Swell I Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Holzgedeckt
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Nachthorn
61
    Swell I Unison Off  

  Plein Jeu II ranks
122
       

     

     
Swell II Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gemshorn
61
    Tremolo  
8
  Gemshorn Celeste [TC]
49
    Swell II Unison Off  
8
  Fagot
61
    Great to Swell  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Rohrflöte [ext. GT]
12
    Great to Pedal 8'  
16
  Gemshorn [ext. SW II]
12
    Swell I to Pedal 8'  
8
  Spitz Principal
32
    Swell I to Pedal 4'  
8
  Rohrflöte
GT
    Swell II to Pedal 8'  
8
  Gemshorn
SW II
    Swell II to Pedal 4'  
4
  Octave [ext. Spitz Princ.]
12
       
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell I Organ Pistons 1-2 (thumb)
Swell II Organ Pistons 1-2 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2 (toe)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (thumb & toe)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)          
    Full Organ (toe) – with Indicator Light      
               
Expression
    Balanced Pedal – Swell I      
    Balanced Pedal – Swell II      
    Crescendo Pedal – with Indicator Light  
           
Organ in Muhlenberg Chapel:

Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 301 (1920)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 16 stops, 9 ranks


In 1920, the Skinner Organ Company of Boston installed a new organ in the chapel. Skinner retained the Pedal and case of the previous 1895 Hutchings organ but provided a new two-manual drawknob console. The Skinner Factory Specification (Mar. 24, 1920) shows this organ had the following:
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Diapason
61
4
  Flute
SW
8
  Gedeckt
SW
8
  Flugel Horn
SW
8
  Aeoline
SW
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [unit]
73
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Gedeckt
73
4
  Flute
61
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Flugel Horn
73
8
  Voix Celeste
73
    Tremolo  
               
Pedal Organ – "Augmented" – 32 notes
16
  First Bourdon
44
8
  Octave [1st Bourdon]
16
  Second Bourdon
SW
8
  Gedeckt
SW
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell to Pedal
    Swell 16', 4'   Great to Pedal
    Great 4'    
               
Adjustable Combinations (Adjustable at the console and visibly operating the Draw Stop Knobs.)
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2
               
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Crescendo    
               
Details
    The case of the present organ is to serve for the new organ.
    The Kinetic blower and the generator of the present organ being new and in excellent condition will be used for the new organ.
           
  Geo. S. Hutchings Organ, Op. 381 (1895) in St. Luke's Hospital Chapel - New York City (courtesy Jim Lewis)
Organ in Muhlenberg Chapel:

George S. Hutchings
Boston, Mass. – Opus 381 (1895)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 23 stops, 22 ranks


The original organ in the present chapel was built in 1895 by George S. Hutchings of Boston. Hutchings' two-manual organ employed tubular-pneumatic action. Compasses and pipe counts are suggested, based on similar Hutchings organs of that time.

An entry (Oct. 4, 1920) in the Reuben Midmer & Son Ledger Book shows that this organ (minus the case) was sold for $1,600 to E. E. Niess, 3164 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. In 2013 this address is for the Cornerstone Community Church.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Viola di Gamba
61
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
2
  Super Octave
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Trumpet
61
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Fugara
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Gemshorn
61
2
  Flautina
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Tremulant  
4
  Octave
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Open Diapason
32
8
  Flute [ext. Bourdon]
12
16
  Bourdon
32
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great 8', 4'  
    Great to Pedal          
           
Organ in chapel of St. Luke's Hospital on Fifth Avenue at 54th Street:

Hall & Labagh
New York City (1885)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolianskinner.organsociety.org/Specs/Op00301.html. Stoplist of Skinner Organ Company organ, Op. 301 (1920).
     Dolkart, Andrew S. Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture & Developments. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Lewis, James. Specification of George S. Hutchings organ, Op. 381 (1895).
     Reuben Midmer & Son Ledger Book (Oct. 4, 1920). Sale of Hutchings organ to E.E. Niess of Philadelphia. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specification (Mar. 24, 1920) of Skinner Organ Company organ, Op. 301.

Illustrations:
     Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online: Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Luke's Hospital (1910).
     Lawson, Steven E. Color chapel interior.
     Lewis, James. Photo of George S. Hutchings organ, Op. 381 (1895).
     St. Luke's Hospital Archives. Chapel interior.