St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Click on images to enlarge
St. Michael's Church
(Episcopal)

225 West 99th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10025
http://www.saintmichaelschurch.org


Organ Specifications:
222 West 99th Street at Amsterdam Avenue (since 1891)
III/55 Rudolph von Beckerath (1967)
I/8 Rudolph von Beckerath (1965) – Chapel
III/50 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 491 (1914)
III/54 George Jardine & Son (1893)
99th Street corner Broadway (1807-1891)
Second building (1854-1891)
• Henry Knauff
First building (1807-1854)
• unknown
 
1854 building of St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City
 
Second building (1854-1891)  
   
St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)  
St. Michael's Church was founded as a summer church on its present site in 1807 by New York City residents who lived "in town" five miles to the south. What is now the northern end of the Upper West Side was then a patchwork of farms and country homes. In 1854 the second church was consecrated – a Gothic structure, built of oak.

The current church building, designed by Robert W. Gibson in a Byzantine-Romanesque style, was dedicated on December 16, 1891. Its interior is notable for its appointments by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including the impressive lancet windows in the apse which depict St. Michael's victory in heaven, and the glass mosaic reredos in the adjoining Chapel of the Angels. The parish house, designed for community service and originally containing facilities for a school, laundry and kitchen, was completed in 1902.

The interior of the church was painted with brilliant colors in 1990 by Fine Art Decoration of New York. For most of its first 100 years, the sanctuary had been painted in neutral colors. In celebration of its centennial, the church was repainted using colors in the palette of the Tiffany decorations.
           
  Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Orgelbau GmbH
Hamburg, Germany (1967)
Mechanical key action
Electric solenoid stop action
Solid-State combination action
3 manuals, 38 stops, 55 ranks



The Rudolf von Beckerath organ, completed in September 1967, is an eclectic instrument at home with music of all periods, but is a particularly fine exponent of both German Baroque and French Classic music. A modern organ case of hand-rubbed limba, a blond wood sometimes called African mahogany, rises 31 feet from the rear gallery floor, with the Rückpositiv in a separate case mounted on the gallery rail. Robert Huddleston, organist and choirmaster, dedicated the organ on Sunday, September 17, 1967. Leonard Raver played the first of a series of monthly organ recitals on October 8, 1967.

In the fall of 1995, the Beckerath firm completely cleaned and overhauled the organ, but no tonal changes were made. In 2011 Meloni & Farrier replaced the combination action (SSOS), including all wiring and new stop action solenoids. The organ now has 100 levels of memory.
               
Rückpositiv Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Gedackt
56
2 2/3
  Sesquialtera II fach 
112
4
  Prinzipal
56
1
  Scharf IV fach 
224
4
  Koppelflöte
56
8
  Cromorne
56
2
  Oktave
56
    Tremulant  
1 1/3
  Quinte
56
       

     

     
Great Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
16
  Quintadena
56
2
  Oktave
56
8
  Prinzipal
56
2
  Flachflöte
56
8
  Rohrflöte
56
1 3/5
  Terz
56
4
  Oktave
56
1 1/3
  Mixtur VI fach
336
4
  Spielflöte
56
8
  Trompete
56
2 2/3
  Nasat
56
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Holzgedackt
56
1
  Sifflöte 
56
8
  Gemshorn 
56
2 2/3
  Septimenkornet III fach
168
8
  Gemshorn Celeste [TC]
44
2/3
  Zimbel III ranks
168
4
  Blockflöte 
56
8
  Oboe 
56
2
  Waldflöte 
56
    Tremulant   

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Prinzipal
32
2
  Nachthorn
32
16
  Subbass
32
2
  Mixtur V fach
160
8
  Oktave
32
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Gedackt
32
8
  Trompete
32
4
  Oktave
32
4
  Schalmei
32
               
Couplers (knobs duplicated by reversible toe studs)
    Great to Pedal   Positiv to Great
    Positiv to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Swell to Pedal    
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Great Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Positiv Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Swell Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (toe)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)
               
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell Pedal          
               
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
               
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1967) in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
         

Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1965) in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Rudolf von Beckerath Orgelbau GmbH
Hamburg, Germany (1965)
Mechanical key and stop action
1 manual, 11 stops, 8 ranks

Chapel of the Angels


The one-manual-and-pedal organ in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael's Church was built by Rudolph von Beckerath in 1965. This self-contained organ is on a movable platform and was used as the primary service instrument during the installation of the larger von Beckerath organ in the gallery. Meloni & Farrier renovated the organ in 1998.
               
Manual – 54 notes (dividing at b24 / c25)
8
  Gedackt Bass
24
       
8
  Gedackt Diskant
30
       
4
  Rohrflöte Bass
24
       
4
  Rohrflöte Diskant
30
       
2
  Prinzipal Bass
24
       
2
  Prinzipal Diskant
30
       
1 1/3
  Quint Bass
24
       
1 1/3
  Quint Diskant
30
       
    Scharf 3f. Bass
72
       
    Scharf 3f. Diskant
90
       

     

     
Pedal – 30 notes
16
  Subbass [hitch-down control]          
               
Couplers
    Manual/Pedal 8          
               
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1965) in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Rudolf von Beckerath Organ (1965) in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
           
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 491 (1914)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 43 stops, 50 ranks


A new organ was built in 1914 by J.H. & C.S. Odell of New York City. This organ employed Odell's electro-pneumatic action and was located in the area to the left of the chancel.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Open Diapason  
2
  Fifteenth  
8
  Gamba       Mixture, 4 ranks  
8
  Doppel Floete  
16
  Double Trumpet  
8
  Clarinet Floete  
8
  Trumpet  
8
  Stopped Diapason  
4
  Clarion  
4
  Octave          
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon  
4
  Violin Principal  
8
  Violin Diapason  
4
  Harmonic Flute  
8
  Quintadena  
2
  Flageolet  
8
  Salicional       Cornet, 3 ranks  
8
  Vox Celestis  
8
  Oboe  
8
  Aeoline  
8
  Cornopean  
8
  Stopped Diapason  
8
  Vox Humana  
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Principal  
4
  Gemshorn  
8
  German Gamba  
4
  Flauto Traverso  
8
  Dulcissimo  
2
  Piccolo  
8
  Melodia  
8
  Clarinet  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Contra Diapason  
8
  Concert Cello  
16
  Double Open Diapason  
4
  Principal  
16
  Violone       Cimbale, 3 ranks  
16
  Bourdon  
16
  Euphone  
           
George Jardine and Son
New York City (1893)
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 45 stops, 54 ranks


In 1893, George Jardine and Son of New York City installed a new organ; some sources state the organ was a rebuild of the previous Henry Knauff organ.

The following description and specification is from a unindentified publication:
A New Jardine Organ.

     The new organ presented to St. Michael's Church by Miss S. R. C. Furniss, Mrs. J. E. Zimmerman and Miss Clementina Furniss has just been completed by the builders, Messrs. Geo. Jardine & Son, and a public exhibition of its powers was given on Monday afternoon, January 30, by Mr. Walter O. Wilkinson, organist of St. Michael's, Mr. William C. Carl and Messrs. Edward D. and Edward G. Jardine, assisted by Mr. Albert George, baritone, and Master Herbert Wilkinson, soprano, of St. Michael's choir. The well-devised programme included compositions of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Gounod, Widor, Guilmant, etc.

     The new organ contains 45 registers and 2,784 [sic] pipes. The manuals, pedals and drawstop action are all on the pneumatic plan, giving thorough control of all tonal resources. The wind supply is furnished by a large bellows in the crypt of the church, which is driven by a gas motor of improved construction. In the organ are four reservoirs feeding from the main bellows of various pressures of wind.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Gamba
58
  Mixture, 3 & 4 ranks
220
8
  Doppel Flute (wood)
58
16
  Double Trumpet
58
8
  Stopped Diap. Amabile (m & w)
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Octave
58
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Clarinet Flute (m & w)
58
   

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon (metal & wood)
58
  Cornet, 3 ranks
174
8
  Violin Diapason
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Oboe and Bassoon
58
8
  Stopped Diapason (m & w)
58
8
  Vox Humana *
58
8
  Quintadena
58
  Tremolo
4
  Violin Principal
58
 
* Made on the same scales as in
the celebrated Freiburg organ
2
  Flageolet
58
 

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Geigen Principal
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
8
  German Gamba
58
4
  Flauto Traverso (wood)
58
8
  Melodia (metal & wood)
58
4
  Gemshorn
58
8
  Dolcissimo
58
2
  Solo Piccolo
58
8
  Vox Celeste, 2 ranks
116
8
  Harmonic Reed
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Clarinet
58

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
32
  Contra Diapason (wood)
30
4
  Principal
30
16
  Double Open Diapason (wood)
30
2
  Octave
30
16
  Violon
30
  Cimbale, 3 ranks
90
16
  Bourdon (wood)
30
16
  Euphone
30
8
  Concert Violoncello, 2 ranks
60
   
             
Accessory Registers
    Swell to Great Manual   Great Manual to Pedal
    Choir to Great Manual   Swell Manual to Pedal
    Swell to Choir Manual   Choir Manual to Pedal
        Engine
Composition Movements
    Piano to Great Organ   Piano to Choir Organ
    Mezzo to Great Organ   Forte to Choir Organ
    Forte to Great Organ   Balanced Swell Pedal
    Piano to Swell Organ   Revers. Pedal – Great Organ Reeds
    Forte to Swell Organ   Wind Indicators over Manuals
           
 
Henry Knauff organ in St. Michael's Episcopal Church - New York City
Organ in second building:

Henry Knauff
Philadelphia, Penn.
Mechanical action




Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     The American Organist (Nov. 1967). Specifications of von Beckerath organ (1967).
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Hughes, Allen. "Mighty Organ to Sound at St. Michael's on Sunday," The New York Times (Sep. 14, 1967).
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree, Mass.: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977. Mention that the Henry Knauff organ was rebuilt in 1893 by Geo. Jardine & Son.
     The Organ (March 1893). Stoplist of George Jardine & Son organ (1893). Courtesy Sand Lawn.
     St. Michael's Church web site: http://www.saintmichaelschurch.org
     "Third Generation Active," The Diapason (November 1914). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Unidentified periodical. Specifications of George Jardine & Son organ (1893). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.

Illustrations:
     Lawson, Steven E. Exterior; interior; von Beckerath organs.
     St. Michael's Church web site. Exterior and interior of second church building.