St. Paul Catholic Church - New York City
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Church of St. Paul
(Roman Catholic)

113 East 117th Street
New York, N.Y. 10035
http://www.stpaulchurchive.org


Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1907)
II/15 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 146 (1875); moved (1907); alt.
Original building (1835-1907)
II/15 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 146 (1875)
• Henry Erben (1852)
• Henry Erben (1846)



Original building (1835-1907) of St. Paul's Catholic Church - Harlem, New York  
Original Church in 1871
 
The parish of St. Paul was established in 1834 by Bishop DuBois to serve Catholics in the whole upper area of old New York from New Rochelle to downtown Manhattan. Rev. Michael Curran, who had been a zealous worker in the mountains of Pennsylvania, was chosen as the first pastor. A site was then purchased for a new church, named for St. Paul, and the cornerstone was laid on June 29, 1835. The church, through the zeal of its pastor and the generosity of its people, was soon completed mid-century and the construction costs defrayed. At that time Harlem was little more than a wilderness. In 1832, some business people had obtained permission from the city to lay a double track for horse-drawn cars from City Hall to the Harlem River along Fourth Avenue (Fourth Ave. was renamed Park Avenue). It was hoped that the street car line—the first on the island—would attract Harlem commuters and shoppers who ordinarily used the riverboats to get downtown and back. In 1871, the building was enlarged, and in 1872 a school was built.

Original building (1835-1907) of St. Paul's Catholic Church - Harlem, New York  
Present church in 1908
 


The present church building was completed in 1908. Designed by the firm of Neville & Bagge in the late Romanesque Revival style, the building includes bold shapes and medieval-style ornamentation, and the facade is particularly distinguished with an unusual “row” of five round-arch molded portals that is reminiscent of medieval cathedrals.

During its earliest years and into the 1950s, the parish membership was predominantly Irish. After World War II, demographics of the area changed with an influx of Spanish-speaking Catholics, many from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. By the 1960s, the archdiocese and the parish sponsored many cultural and social programs for East Harlem Latinos.

In 2016, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated St. Paul's Church as a landmark.
               
  St. Paul Catholic Church - New York City
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 146 (1875); moved and alt. 1907
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 12 stops, 15 ranks









The J.H. & C.S. Odell organ was built in 1875 for the original church, and was moved to the present church in 1907. The free-standing case, placed to one side of the gallery, has a recessed console with stop-knobs arranged vertically on flat panels. Its unusual specification is notable in that the six-stop Great includes an open 16' register and a mixture, but no mutations or super-octave.

At some point, the organ was altered: the Swell Oboe was replaced with a 4' open metal rank, and the Oboe took the place of the Great Trumpet (the pipes of which have disappeared). The mixture appears to have originally contained a tierce, but has been altered to 12-15-19-22.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
  Mixture, 4 ranks [12-15-19-22]
232
8
  Clarabella
58
8
  Trumpet [repl. by SW Oboe]
58
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Stopped Diapason *
58
8
  Oboe [repl. by 4' Principal]
58
8
  Keraulophon
58
    Tremulant  
4
  Flauto Traverso
58
    * This rank, made of wood, has pipes with two mouths on adjacent sides.
               
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Open Diapason
25
       
16
  Bourdon
25
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great          
    Great to Pedal          
    Swell to Pedal          
               
Organ in the previous church:

Henry Erben
New York City (1852)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Organ in the previous church:

Henry Erben
New York City (1846)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Church of St. Paul web site: http://www.stpaulchurchive.org
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission report (July 2016).
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977. Specifications of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 146 (1875); moved and alt. 1907.
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence about Stopped Diapason of J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 146 (1875).

Illustrations:
     Church of St. Paul web site. Photo of 1871 church.
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). Photo (1908) of present church. Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.