Roman Catholic Church of St. Thomas the Apostle - New York City (Library of Congress, 1908)
 
Click on most images to enlarge
Church of St. Thomas the Apostle
(Roman Catholic)

262 West 118th Street
New York, N.Y. 10026


Organ Specifications:
III/38 W.W. Kimball Co., KPO 3052 (1907)
II/13 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 613 (1955) – Lower Church



St. Thomas the Apostle Church was established in 1889, and by 1907 the Upper Church, designed by Thomas H. Poole & Company, was dedicated. The unusual facade is only a hint of what is (or used to be) inside: elaborate fan-vaulted ceilings, magnificently-carved marble altars, and beautiful stained glass windows by Mayer of Munich. Its original parishioners were immigrants — first the Irish, then the Germans — but as Harlem evolved, the church became more of a mission to the African-Americans who moved into the neighborhood. Many of its parishioners have become famous: Harry Belafonte's family worshiped here; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was said to have been baptized in this church; Hulan E. Jack, the first black borough president of Manhattan, was buried from here. The church was rescued in 1979 by the Salesians of Don Bosco, but they left the church in June 2003. Later that year, the church was closed by the Archdiocese.
               
Church of St. Thomas the Apostle (Catholic) - New York City   Church of St. Thomas the Apostle (Catholic) - New York City   Church of St. Thomas the Apostle (Catholic) - New York City
               
  W.W. Kimball Co. Organ, KPO 3052 (1907) in St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - New York City (photo: W.W. Kimball catalog)
W.W. Kimball Co.
Chicago, Ill. – KPO 3052 (1907)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 37 stops, 38 ranks




The now-rare and historic W.W. Kimball organ at St. Thomas the Apostle was installed in 1907. Originally having tubular-pneumatic action, the Kimball Company returned in the mid-1920s to convert the action to electro-pneumatic and install a new console. All of the divisions are enclosed. Although the church's interior has been gutten, the organ is extant in the church as of 2012. Hopefully, this organ will be safely removed before the building deteriorates.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Double Open Diapason
73
4
  Octave
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Harmonic Flute
73
8
  Prestant
73
2 2/3
  Quint
61
8
  Viol d'Gamba
73
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Dopple Flute
73
8
  Harmonic Trumpet
73
8
  Dulciana
73

  Tremolo  
 
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Gross Gedeckt Bass
12
4
  Celestina
73
16
  Gross Gedeckt Treble
61
2
  Flageolet
73
8
  Open Diapason
73
  Echo Aetheria III ranks
183
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
8
  Oboe Bassoon
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Quintadena
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Viole Celeste
73
    Vox Vibrato  
8
  Aeoline
73
    Tremolo  
4
  Flute Traverse
73
       

     

     
Choir Organ(Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Viole d'Orchestra
73
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
8
  Geigen Principal
73
8
  Bell Clarinet
73
8
  Concert Flute
73
    Tremolo  
8
  Dolce
61
   
Chimes
30 notes

     

     
Pedal Organ– 32 notes, enclosed
16
  Open Diapason
32
16
  Posaune
32
16
  Violone
32
8
  Bass Flute
32
16
  Bourdon
32
       
               
W.W. Kimball Co. Organ, Op. 3052 (1907) at Church of St. Thomas the Apostle - New York City
     
W.W. Kimball Co. Organ, Op. 3052 (1907) at Church of St. Thomas the Apostle - New York City   W.W. Kimball Co. Organ, Op. 3052 (1907) at Church of St. Thomas the Apostle - New York City
             
Organ in Lower Church:

J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 613 (1955)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 13 stops, 13 ranks


This organ was installed in the Lower Church in 1955. The Odell Factory Specification states that the organ was located in the Odell shop and would be "completely modernized with electro-pneumatic action." Available information does not reveal the origins of this instrument; it is possible that the organ dates to the opening of the Lower Church (ca. 1889) or that it was simply a second-hand instrument that was rebuilt by Odell and sold to the church. The fate of this organ is unknown.
               
Great Organ(Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Melodia
61
2
  Fifteenth [replaced Dulciana]
61
4
  Octave
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Rohr Flute
61
8
  Salicional
61
2
  Piccolo [replaced Aeoline]
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Tremulant  

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Sources:
     Adams, Michael Henry. Harlem Lost and Found: An Architectural and Social History, 1765-1915. New York: Monacelli Press, 2002.
     AFB Collection: Specifications of W.W. Kimball Organ, KPO 3052 (1907).
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online: 1908 exterior.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of J.H. & C.S. Odell Organ, Op. 613 (1955).

Illustrations:
     AJWB Collection. Console of W.W. Kimball Co. Organ, KPO 3052 (1907).
     Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online. 1908 exterior.
     W.W. Kimball Co. Organ Catalog, Chicago: W.W. Kimball Co., c.1920s. Cases of W.W. Kimball Organ, KPO 3052 (1907) in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, New York City. Courtesy James Lewis.