St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (photo: Arie deZanger)

Click on images to enlarge

St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue
(Episcopal)

1 West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10019
http://www.saintthomaschurch.org


Organ Specifications:
3 West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue (since 1870):
Present building (since 1913):
IV/160 Aeolian-Skinner Co.; rev. Mann & Trupiano (1980s)
IV/157 Aeolian-Skinner Co.; rev. G.F. Adams (1969)
IV/172 Aeolian-Skinner Co., Op. 205-A (1956)
IV/87 M.P. Möller, Op. 7900 (1948)
IV/ Ernest M. Skinner & Son (1945)
IV/77 Ernest M. Skinner Company, Op. 205 (1913)
Temporary building (1907-c.1913):
II/17 Hutchings-Votey Organ Co. (1907)
First building (1870-burned 1905):
• IV/67 Hutchings-Votey Organ Co. (1904)
IV/68 Hilborne L. Roosevelt (1881-3)
III/60 Hall, Labagh & Co. (1870)
Broadway and Houston Street (1826-1856):
Second (rebuilt) building (1851-1856):
III/30 Hall & Labagh (1851-2)
First building (1825-burned 1851):
• III/28 Henry Erben (1831)
II/13 Hall & Erben (1825)

See also the the Gallery, Choir Room and Continuo.


The first St. Thomas Church (1826-1851) on Houston and Broadway - New York City (St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue)  
Houston & Broadway (1826-1851)
 
St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal Church was established in 1823. Its first church building, located at Broadway and Houston Street, was designed by Joseph R. Brady and the Rev. John McVickar and opened in 1826. Two octagonal towers anchored the corners of the Gothic Revival facade. This first church was destroyed by fire on March 2, 1851.

A second church was built on the same site in 1851-52, and the parish remained until 1870 when they moved to their present location on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street.

  St. Thomas Church (1870-1904) designed by Richard M. Upjohn - New York City (photo: St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue)
 
St. Thomas Church (1870-1905)
The third church was built from 1865 to 1870 to the designs of Richard Upjohn and his son, Richard M. Upjohn. A massive tower, soaring 260 feet into the sky, was its most prominent feature. This church, nestled among the many gilded mansions of Fifth Avenue, was the scene of many society weddings and funerals. A tradition began on Easter Day where the wealthy parishioners processed to nearby St. Luke's Hospital, bearing gifts of food and presents for the needy. Today, the annual event continues as the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade. Tragically, the beautiful church burned to the ground in 1905, leaving only the tower standing.

The fourth and present St. Thomas Church was built from 1911 to 1916, and designed by a partnership of Ralph Adams Cram and Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. Lee Lawrie executed the many sculptures and decorations, most notably the 60 figures of the magnificent reredos which is 80 feet high. Music has long been an important component of worship and liturgy at St. Thomas Church, and is supported by the St. Thomas Choir School, founded in 1919.
               
  Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 215-A (1956, rev.) - St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (credit: Ken Stein)
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 205-A (1956)
As revised by Mann & Trupiano – Brooklyn, N.Y. (1980s)
Electro-pneumatic and electric-slider action
Solid-State combination action
4 manuals, 119 stops, 160 ranks






The Great Organ of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue was originally built by the Ernest M. Skinner Company of Boston as their Opus 205 in 1913. In 1956, the organ was extensively revised and rebuilt by the Aeolian-Skinner Company as Opus 205-A under the direction of G. Donald Harrison. Subsequent revisions were completed in 1969 by Gilbert F. Adams, and in the early 1980s by Mann & Trupiano.

Liturgical north pipe display of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 215-A (1956, rev.) - St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)  
Today, except for the Trompette en Chamade, which is located under the rose window over the Fifth Avenue entrance, the entire instrument is in the chancel, with the Swell and Grand Choeur in the main case at the right on the north wall (liturgical south) and the exposed Great to the left, with Pedal reeds behind. The Vorwerk and Pedal upperwork are exposed on the south wall, in front of the Positif and large Pedal flues.

Following are the specifications of the Great Organ as of 2005:
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Principal
61
3 1/5
  Terz
61
16
  Bourdon
61
2 2/7
  Gross Septième
61
8
  Principal
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Flûte harmonique
61
2
  Octave
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
    Mixture V-VII ranks
391
8
  Violoncelle
61
    Scharf IV ranks
244
5 1/3
  Gross Quinte
61
    Great 16'  
4
  Octave
61
    Great 4'  
4
  Rohrflöte
61
       

 

 

     
Positif Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintaton
61
1 1/7
  Septième
61
8
  Montre
61
1
  Piccolo
61
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
4
  Prestant
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
4
  Cor de nuit
61
16
  Basson
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Trompette
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Cromorne
61
2
  Quarte
61
8
  Clarinette
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
4
  Clairon
61
1 1/3
 
Larigot
61
       

 

 

     
Vorwerk Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Spitzprincipal
61
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
1
  Schwegel
61
8
  Viole [in POS]
61
    Scharf IV ranks
244
8
  Dulciana [in POS]
61
    Terz-zimbel III ranks
183
4
  Prinzipal
61
    Cornet de Récit [g2-d5]
150
4
  Koppelflöte
61
16
  Rankett
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Voix Humaine
61
2
  Oktave
61
 
  Tremblant  
2
  Blockflöte
61
    Choir 4'  
1 3/5
  Terz
61
8
  Trompette en Chamade
61

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Principal
61
2
  Octavin
61
8
  Flûte harmonique
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Viole de gambe
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
8
  Viole céleste
61
16
  Bombarde
61
8
  Flûte douce
61
8
  Trompette
61
8
  Flûte céleste
61
8
  Hautbois
61
4
  Prestant
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Fugara
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Flûte à fuseau
61
    Tremblant  
4
  Dulciana
61
    Swell 16'  
4
  Unda Maris [TC]
49
    Swell 4'  
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
       

     

     
Grand Choeur (Manual IV) – 61 notes
32
  Principal [1-12 Ped]
49
2
  Quarte
61
16
  Montre
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Montre
61
    Fourniture V ranks
305
8
  Bourdon
61
    Cymbale IV ranks
244
4
  Prestant
61
    Grand Cornet V [c3-c5]
125
3 1/5
  Grosse Tierce
61
16
  Bombarde
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Trompette
61
2
  Doublette
61
4
  Clairon
61

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Contrebasse [ext.]
12
4
  Flûte
32
32
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
3 1/5
  Tierce
32
16
  Contrebasse
32
2
  Blockflöte
32
16
  Principal
32
    Fourniture IV ranks
128
16
  Bourdon
32
    Cymbale III ranks
96
16
  Bourdon
GT
32
  Bombarde [ext.]
12
10 2/3
  Grosse Quinte
32
16
  Bombarde
32
8
  Octave
32
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Spitzflöte
32
16
  Rankett
VW
8
  Gedeckt
32
8
  Trompette
32
6 2/5
  Grosse Tierce
32
4
  Clairon
32
5 1/3
  Quinte
32
4
  Rohr Schalmei
32
4 4/7
  Grosse Septième
32
2
  Zink
32
4
  Super Octave
32
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Grand Choeur to Great 16', 8'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 8'
    Grand Choeur to Pedal 8'   Grand Choeur to Choir 8'
    Positif to Pedal 8'   Great to Grand Choeur 8'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Vorwerk on Grand Choeur, off Choir
    Positif to Great 8'   Vorwerk on Swell, off Choir
    Vorwerk to Great   Manuals I / II Interchange
     [affects divisional pistons]
    Choir to Great 16', 4' [knobs]  
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Grand Choeur Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb; 1 & 10 dup. by toe)
Swell Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb; 1 & 10 dup. by toe)
Choir Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb; 1 & 10 dup. by toe)
Great Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb; 1 & 10 dup. by toe)
Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (toe)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14 (thumb & toe)
               
Sequencer Controls
    Manuals
    + (Next) piston to left of divisional piston no. 1 for each manual
    - (Prev) and + (Next) pistons below Swell and Choir manuals (right side)
    Pedal
    + (Next) toe stud at right of Swell Pedal
    - (Prev) and + (Next) toe studs at far right
               
Reversibles
    Ventil I (toe)   Grand Choeur to Ped. (thumb & toe)
    Ventil II (toe)   32' Bourdon (toe)
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32' Contre Basse (toe)
    Swell to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32' Bombarde (toe)
    Choir to Pedal (thumb & toe)    
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal      
               
Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956; rev) - St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (photo: John Rust)
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 205-A (1956)
As revised by G.F. Adams – New York City (1969)
Electro-pneumatic and electric-slider chest action
Solid-State combination action
4 manuals, 119 stops, 157 ranks







In the 1960s, the nearby Museum of Modern Art began an expansion program and built a large addition adjacent to the chancel of St. Thomas Church. Blasting damaged the reredos and caused part of the ceiling in the organ chambers to come down. A clogged drain on the roof caused a leak in the Swell chamber. Some of the rebuilt Skinner chests had developed dead notes and ciphers. Aeolian-Skinner was contacted to clean the organ, address the mechanical problems which had arisen, and to effect desired tonal changes. The company could not undertake the work, but recommended that arrangements be made with Gilbert Adams and Anthony Bufano, Aeolian-Skinner employees who had recently begun organ maintenance work in New York City. Adams and Bufano made some of the temporary repairs, and tonal revisions were completed in a small shop set up in the church basement. Although Adams and Bufano set up separate businesses, Adams continued at St. Thomas Church, assisted by Robert James. Rebuilt Skinner chests were replaced with slider chests. Tonal work by Adams included the replacement of revoiced Skinner reeds with brilliant French reeds, and the revoicing or replacement of mixtures. The enclosed section of the Positif (Choir) was unenclosed and renamed Vorwerk, but soft stops were retained for accompanying purposes.

The Antiphonal Organ, which had preparations for a separate two-manual console in the rear gallery, was connected to a one-manual keyboard in the interim by Adams. A parishioner of the church, who had long expressed a desire to give the Antiphonal console in memory of his mother, offered to give a separate organ for the gallery. The Antiphonal Organ was removed and much of it was incorporated into the chancel divisions in preparation for the installation of a new four-manual mechanical action organ to be built by Mr. Adams.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Principal
61
4
  Rohrflöte
61
16
  Bourdon
61
3 1/5
  Terz
61
8
  Principal
61
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
8
  Flûte Harmonique
61
2 2/7
  Septième
61
8
  Violoncelle
61
2
  Octave
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
    Mixture V-VII ranks
391
5 1/3
  Gross Quinte
61
    Scharf IV ranks
244
4
  Octave
61
 
     

 

 

     
Positif Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Quintaton
61
1 1/3
  Larigot
61
8
  Montre
61
1 1/7
  Septième
61
8
  Viole
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Bourdon
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Dulciana
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
4
  Prestant
61
16
  Basson
61
4
  Cor de nuit
61
8
  Trompette
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Clarinette
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Cromorne
61
2
  Quarte
61
4
  Clairon
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
       

 

 

     
Vorwerk Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Spitzprincipal
61
1
  Schwegel
61
8
  Gedeckt
61
    Cornet de Récit V [g2-d5]
150
4
  Principal
61
    Scharf IV ranks
244
4
  Koppelflöte
61
    Terz-zimbel III ranks
183
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
16
  Rankett
150
2
  Octave
61
8
  Voix humaine
61
2
  Blockflöte
61
    Tremblant  
1 3/5
  Terz
61
 8
  Trompette en Chamade
GT
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
         [in Gallery]

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Principal
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Flûte harmonique
61
2
  Octavin
61
8
  Bourdon
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Viole de gambe
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Viole céleste
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
8
  Flûte douce
61
16
  Bombarde
61
8
  Flûte céleste
61
8
  Trompette
61
4
  Prestant
61
8
  Hautbois
61
4
  Fugara
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Flûte à fuseau
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Dulciana
61
 
  Tremulant  
4
  Unda Maris [TC]
49
       

     

     
Grand Choeur (Manual IV) – 61 notes
32
  Principal [1-12 Ped]
49
2
  Quarte
61
16
  Montre
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
16
  Bourdon
61
    Grand Cornet V [c3-c5]
125
8
  Montre
61
    Fourniture V ranks
305
8
  Bourdon
61
    Cymbale IV ranks
244
4
  Prestant
61
16
  Bombarde
61
3 1/5
  Grosse Tierce
61
8
  Trompette
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
4
  Clairon
61
2
  Doublette
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Contrebasse [ext.]
12
4
  Super Octave
32
32
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
4
  Flûte
32
16
  Contrebasse
32
3 1/5
  Tierce
32
16
  Principal
32
2
  Blockflöte
32
16
  Bourdon
32
    Fourniture IV ranks
128
16
  Bourdon
GT
    Cymbale III ranks
96
10 2/3
  Grosse Quinte
32
32
  Bombarde [ext.]
12
8
  Octave
32
16
  Bombarde
32
8
  Spitzflöte
32
16
  Posaune
32
8
  Gedeckt
32
8
  Trompette
32
6 2/5
  Grosse Tierce
32
4
  Clairon
32
5 1/3
  Quinte
32
4
  Rohr Schalmei
32
4 4/7
  Grosse Septième
32
2
  Zink 
32
               
  Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956) - St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (Organ Historical Society)
  205-A Console at Aeolian-Skinner Shop
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 205-A (1956)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 128 stops, 172 ranks



In 1956, at the behest of William Self, successor to Dr. T. Frederick H. Candlyn, the E.M. Skinner organ—by then revised in 1945 by Ernest M. Skinner & Son, and in 1948 by M.P. Möller—was extensively revised and rebuilt by the Aeolian-Skinner Company as Opus 205-A under the direction of G. Donald Harrison. This rebuilding included much new pipework and new chests, although Harrison chose to rebuild some of the chests. A year earlier, in 1955, Ernest M. Skinner was distraught when he learned that Harrison had been contracted to rebuild one of his most famous (and one of Skinner's favorite) organs. Mr. Self later recounted to organbuilder Joseph Dzeda:
He [William Self] said that about the time the rebuild was announced, old EMS, in his late '80's, came to him and asked if Self would hold off on the proposed work until EMS was dead. Self refused. Then EMS asked Self to store the pipes for his organ in the church basement, on the condition that if the new organ was not up to Self's hope, EMS would return and re-install his old organ.
Ernest Skinner next wrote a letter, dated October 7, 1955, to the Rev. Frederick M. Morris, rector of the church. Skinner explained that he was the builder of the original organ in St. Thomas Church, imploring, "If it happens that your good people do not like the organ after its rebuilding and I suppose revoicing, and wish to remake it, to be more as it was originally I will be glad to restore it at the lowest possible cost, which implies no sacrifice or compromise whatever." As a postscript, Skinner wrote, "I received word that Mr. Candlyn, your former organist, became what might be termed grief stricken, when he heard that organ was to be done over. . ."

Case of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956, rev.) at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (credit: Ken Stein)  
Despite Mr. Skinner's pleas, Aeolian-Skinner proceeded to rebuild the organ, hurrying to complete it as much as possible before the opening recital on June 26, 1956, of the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. Pierre Cochereau, titulaire organist of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, had been selected to play that first recital on the new organ, and it was also his first tour in the United States and his first recital in New York City. As the convention date neared, Mr. Harrison began to show signs of strain exacerbated by working in an un-air conditioned church during exceptionally hot weather. He suffered from angina complicated by a hiatus hernia, and had been taking nitroglycerin tablets. On Thursday evening, June 14, Harrison walked eight blocks in the sweltering heat to his apartment at 1019 Third Avenue (near East 60th Street), unable to get a taxi due to a subway strike. At 11:00 pm that evening, he had a massive heart attack and died before medical assistance could be provided. He was 67 years old. The next morning, Joseph Whiteford, Vice President of Aeolian-Skinner, called Mr. Self to inform him of Mr. Harrison's sudden death. After hearing the grim news later that day from Mr. Self, the Aeolian-Skinner crew agreed that the greatest tribute to Harrison would be to get the organ as nearly complete as possible for the AGO Convention. Although the gallery organ was left unfinished, and a number of stops had not yet been regulated or tuned, the organ could be used for Cochereau's recital, attended by 1,200 on June 26. Many organists considered Harrison's rebuild of the Skinner organ to be his masterpiece, although it would be drastically revised in the years to follow.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes (3¼" pressure)
16
  Quintade
61
1
  Octave
61
8
  Montre
61
    Plein Jeu IV-VI ranks
294
8
  Violoncelle
61
    Klein Mixtur IV ranks
244
8
  Gemshorn
61
    Scharff IV ranks
244
8
  Bourdon
61
    Cornet de Recit V [g2-c6]
150
8
  Flûte Harmonique
61
16
  Rankett
PO
4
  Prestant
61
8
  Krummhorn
PO
4
  Rohrflöte
61
4
  Rohr Schalmei
PO
2 2/3
  Quinte
61
    Cymbelstern  
2
  Doublette *
85
   
* double trebles

 

 

     
Positif Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes (2¼" pressure flues; 5" pressure reeds)
8
  Viole Conique
61
1 1/7
 
Septième
preparation
8
  Nason Flute
61
1
 
Principal
preparation
4
  Principal
61
    Fourniture IV-VI ranks
294
4
  Koppelflöte
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
    Jeu de Clochette II ranks
122
2
  Principal
61
16
  Rankett
61
2
  Blockflöte
61
8
  Krummhorn
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
4
  Rohr Schalmei
61
1 1/3
  Larigot
61
       

 

 

     
Positif Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed (5" pressure)
16
  Quintaton
61
2
  Hellflöte
61
8
  Principal
61
1
 
Piccolo
preparation
8
  Rohrflöte
61
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Viola Pomposa
61
16
  Buccine
61
8
  Viola Celeste
61
8
 
Trompette
preparation
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Chalumeau
61
8
  Unda Maris
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Prestant
61
 
  Tremulant  
4
  Nachthorn
61
    Trompette en Chamade
GC
2
 
Principal
preparation

     

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed (6" pressure)
16
  Quintflöte
61
2 2/3
  Nasard
61
8
  Diapason
61
2
 
Principal
preparation
8
  Flûte Traversière
61
2
  Octavin
61
8
  Rohrflöte
61
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Viole de Gambe
61
    Plein Jeu VI ranks
366
8
  Viole Céleste
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
8
  Flûte Dolce
61
16
  Bombarde
61
8
  Flute Céleste
61
8
  Trompette
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Hautbois
61
4
  Flûte à Fuseau
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Fugara
61
4
  Clairon
61
4
  Dulciana
61
 
  Tremblant  
4
  Unda Maris [TC]
49
       

     

     
Grand Choeur Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes
    Chancel (5" pressure)       Antiphonal (5" pressure)  
32
  Quintaton
61
16
  Bourdon
61
16
  Principal
61
8
  Diapason
61
8
  Octave
61
4
  Principal
61
8
 
Flûte Ouverte
preparation
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
5 1/3
  Quinte
61
    Cymbale III ranks
183
4
  Octave
61
16
  Bombarde
61
3 1/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Trompette
61
2
 
Principal
preparation
4
  Clairon
61
    Tierce Mixture V-IX ranks
376
8
  Trompette en Chamade
61
    Grand Fourniture IV-VII rks
319
   

enclosed:

 
16
  Bombarde
61
8
  Flûte Ouverte
61
8
  Trompette Harmonique
61
8
  Salicional
61
4
  Clairon Harmonique
61
8
  Voix Céleste
61
     

4
  Flûte Douce
61
     

4
  Aeoline
61
     
2
 
Piccolo
preparation
             

          Antiphonal Pedal (5" pressure)
       
16
  Principal  
       
16
  Bourdon
ANT
       
8
  Principal  
       
8
  Bourdon
ANT
       
16
 
Posaune
preparation
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes (5" pressure)
32
  Contre Basse [ext.]
12
4
  Choral Bass
32
32
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
4
  Nachthorn
32
32
  Quintaton
GC
2
  Blockflöte
32
16
  Contre Basse
32
    Fourniture IV ranks
128
16
  Principal
GC
    Cymbale III ranks
96
16
  Bourdon
32
    Cornet III ranks
96
16
  Quintade
GT
32
  Bombarde [ext.]
12
16
  Quintflöte
SW
16
  Bombarde (10" w.p.)
32
10 2/3
  Grosse Quinte
32
16
  Buccine (Posaune)
32
8
  Principal
32
8
  Trompette
32
8
  Spitzflöte
32
8
  Krummhorn
PO
8
  Gedeckt Pommer
32
4
  Clairon
32
6 2/5
  Grosse Tierce
32
4
  Rohr Schalmei
PO
5 1/3
  Quinte
32
2
  Zink
32
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal   Grand Choeur to Great 8'
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Positif 8'
    Grand Choeur to Pedal   Grand Choeur to Positif 8'
    Positif to Pedal   Great to Grand Choeur 8'
    Swell to Great 8'   Swell to Positif 16'
    Positif to Great 8'   Swell to Positif 4'
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Grand Choeur Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (1 & 10 dup. by toe studs)
Swell Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (1 & 10 dup. by toe studs)
Positif Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (1 & 10 dup. by toe studs)
Great Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (1 & 9 dup. by toe studs)
Pedal Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 (toe only)
General Pistons 0, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14 (1-14 dup. by toe studs)
               
Reversibles
    Grand Choeur to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32' Contre Basse (toe)
    Swell to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32 Bourdon (toe)
    Positif to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32' Quintaton (toe)
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   32' Bombarde (toe)
    Ensembles I - II - III - IV (thumb & toe)   All Swells to Swell (thumb)
               
Mechanicals
    Balanced Expression Pedal – Enc. Positif   Indicator light – Crescendo Pedal
    Balanced Expression Pedal – Swell   Indicator light – All Swells to Swell
    Balanced Expression Pedal – Enc. Grand Choeur   Nave Signal (light & button)
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal   Chantry Signal (light & button)
    Indicator lights: Ensembles I - II - III - IV   Choir Signal (light & button)
               
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 7900 (1948)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 142 registers, 93 stops, 87 ranks




At the request of Dr. T. Frederick H. Candlyn, organist and choirmaster, the 1913 Skinner Organ was further revised in 1948 by the M.P. Möller Company of Hagerstown, Md. This contract was undoubtedly given to Möller after Dr. Candlyn was extremely disappointed in work recently entrusted to Ernest M. Skinner, who was by then in his 80s.
"Dr. Candlyn wanted more fire and brilliance, a more definite characterization of individual registers (particularly in the flue-work) and less tubbiness throughout. All the fine strings and other colors were untouched, but the mixtures were revoiced, new ones added, leathered pipes brightened by removing the leather, and the pitch raised almost to orchestral.

"To quote Dr. Candlyn, "This became a Willis organ with all the brilliance of the French."
The American Organist (June 1949)
Much of the actual revoicing took place on the job; Adolph Zajic was sent from Hagerstown to revoice the Tuba Mirabilis with entirely new tonuges. Möller rebuilt the Skinner console shell in their factory in Hagerstown, installing new ivories, 244 new silver contact wires, and a new solid music rack. New relay and combination action mechanisms were installed in the basement. The c.1913 Orgoblo, completely overhauled in 1943, was retained.

While the organ was unplayable due to lack of a console, a two-manual Möller "Artiste" was loaned to the church.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
16
  Gemshorn
61
4
  Flute
61
8
  First Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Third Diapason
61
    Mixture IV ranks *
244
8
  Waldflöte
61
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Erzähler
61
4
  Clarion
4
  Principal
61
    two stops prepared for  

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Geigenprincipal *
73
16
  Dulciana
73
4
  Flute
73
8
  First Diapason
73
2
  Flautino
61
8
  Second Diapason
73
    Mixture IV ranks *
244
8
  Gedeckt
73
    Dolce Cornet III ranks
183
8
  Quintadena
73
16
  Trumpet
73
8
  Gamba
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  French Trumpet
73
8
  Voix Celeste
73
8
  Flügelhorn
73
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Unda Maris
73
4
  Clarion
73
4
  Octave
73
    Tremulant  

 

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Gamba
73
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Concert Flute
73
1 3/5
  Tierce *
73
8
  Kleinerzähler
73
1 1/3
  Larigot *
61
8
  Geigen
73
16
  Fagotto
73
8
  Dulcet II ranks
146
8
 
Clarinet
73
8
  Flauto Traverso
73
   
Celesta
61 bars
4
  Gemshorn
73
    Tremulant
2 2/3
  Nasard *
61
 
     

     

     
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Flute
73
8
  English Horn
73
8
  Gamba
73
8
  French Horn
73
8
  Gamba Celeste
73
8
  Clarinet
CH
8
  Flute
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe
73
16
  Fagotto
CH
8
  Bassoon
73
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Trompette Harmonique *
73
    one stop prepared for  

     

     
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason *
61
4
  Flute
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
4
  Aeoline
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Voix Celeste II ranks
122
    Tremulant  
4
  Principal *
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Diapason [unit]
44
8
  Gemshorn
GT
32
  Violone [unit]
44
4
  Octave [unit] *
16
  First Diapason
4
  Gemshorn
GT
16
  Second Diapason
GT
    Mixture V ranks
160
16
  Echo Lieblich
SW
32
  Bombarde [unit] *
68
16
  Violone
16
  Ophicleide
16
  Gamba
CH
16
  Posaune
SW
16
  Gemshorn
GT
16
  Bassoon * [ext. SO?]
12
16
  Dulciana
SW
8
  Tuba
8
  Octave *
44
4
  Clarion
8
  Lieblichflöte
SW
    four stops prepared for  
8
  Cello
SO
       
           
* new additions by Möller
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Solo to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Solo to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Solo to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell 16', 4'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir 16', 4', Unison Off
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Solo 16', 4', Unison Off
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Solo & Echo Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Swell Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Great Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Choir Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (toe)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb?)
               
    Pedal to Manual combinations On and Off (under each manual)
    Great Reeds On and Off buttons (keycheek)    
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal   32' Diapason
    Swell to Pedal   32' Violone
    Choir to Pedal   32' Bombarde
    Solo-Echo to Pedal   Full Organ
         
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal    
    Balanced Choir-Solo-Echo Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
               
  Organ Case of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913) at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (credit: John Rust)
Ernest M. Skinner & Son
Methuen, Mass. (1945)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals




In 1945, the Ernest M. Skinner & Son Company was contracted to rebuild the 1913 Skinner Organ (Op. 205) with fairly extensive tonal changes drawn up by Dr. T. Frederick H. Candlyn, successor to Dr. T. Tertius Noble as organist and choirmaster. Changes included revoicing of the Great reeds along Willis lines, revoicing the Swell Double Trumpet and Clarion as Cavaillé-Coll reeds, replacing the Oboe with the Flugel Horn from the Solo, and replacing the Claribel Flute with a 4' Geigen. The Choir division was increased in tone, a Tierce and Septième were added, and the Piccolo was changed to a Nazard. The Solo received a new Orchestral Trumpet, and the Fagotto was revoiced and made available on the Pedal. Two 8' Flutes in the Echo were replaced with an 8' Diapason and 4' Principal to support congregational singing. The Pedal 16' Bourdon was eliminated and replaced by a Gemshorn rank (playable at 16', 8', and 4'), and the Great 16' Diapason was made available on the Pedal at 16' and 8' pitches. Skinner also made a number of mechanical improvements to the console.
               
  Organ Case of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913) at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (photo: Organ Historical Society)
 
1913 Skinner Organ Case
Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 205 (1913)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 91 stops, 77 ranks





Maurice Garabrant at the console of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913) at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City (photo: Organ Historical Society)  
Maurice Garabrant
Assistant Organist (1921-26)
 
The original organ of the present St. Thomas Church was originally built by the Ernest M. Skinner Company of Boston as their Opus 205 in 1913. Dr. T. Tertius Noble, organist and choirmaster from 1913 until his retirement in 1943, began his tenure as the Skinner organ was nearing completion and became a close friend of Ernest Skinner. As the Skinner Company Fifth Avenue Studio was only a block away from the church, Mr. Skinner would bring visiting organists and other musicians to play and hear this showpiece organ.

According to The Life and Work of Ernest M. Skinner by Dorothy J. Holden, Skinner's Op. 205 included the builder's first 32' Sub-Bass stop; in reality, the bottom octave of the 32' Diapason was stopped.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
16
  Bourdon [ext. PED]
17
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  First Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Third Diapason
61
    Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Philomela
PED
16
  Ophicleide [unit]
85
8
  Waldflöte
61
8
  Tuba
8
  Flauto Dolce
61
4
  Clarion
8
  Erzähler
61
       

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
4
  Octave
73
16
  Dulciana
73
4
  Flute Harmonique
73
8
  First Diapason
73
2
  Flautino
61
8
  Second Diapason
73
    Mixture IV ranks
293
8
  Claribel Flute
73
    Dolce Cornet III ranks
183
8
  Quintadena
73
16
  Trumpet
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Cornopean
73
8
  Voix Celeste
73
8
  French Trumpet
73
8
  Gamba
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Unda Maris [TC]
61
4
  Clarion
73
8
  Gedackt
73
    Tremolo  

 

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Gamba
73
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Geigen Principal
73
16
  Contra Fagotto
73
8
  Spitzflöte
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Concert Flute
73
8
  Orchestral Oboe
73
8
  Flute Celeste
73
8
  English Horn
73
8
  Dulcet II ranks
146
    Tremolo  
4
  Flauto Traverso
73
   
Celesta
61 bars
4
  Gemshorn
73
 
     

     

     
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Philomela
PED
8
  French Horn
73
8
  Gamba
73
8
  Flugel Horn
73
8
  Gamba Celeste
73
8
  Vox Humana
SW
8
  Harmonic Flute
73
8
  Clarinet
CH
8
  Concert Flute
CH
8
  Orchestral Oboe
CH
4
  Flute
73
8
  English Horn
CH
16
  Contra Fagotto
CH
    Tremolo  
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
73
       

     

     
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Salcional
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Voix Celeste
61
4
  Dulcet
61
8
  Viol Celestes II ranks
122
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Concert Flute
61
    Tremolo  

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Diapason [unit] *
56
8
  Gedackt
32
  Violone [unit]
44
8
  Cello
SO
16
  First Diapason
8
  Lieblich Flöte
SW
16
  Second Diapason
GT
32
  Bombarde [ext. GT]
12
16
  Bourdon [unit]
44
16
  Ophicleide
GT
16
  Violone
16
  Contra Posaune
SW
16
  Gamba
CH
8
  Tuba
12
16
  Echo Lieblich
SW
4
  Clarion
12
8
  Octave
   
* 1-12 stopped
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Solo to Great 8'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 8'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Swell Super, Sub
    Solo to Pedal 8'   Choir Super, Sub
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Solo Unison Off, Super, Sub
    Choir to Great 8'    
               
Combinations (visibly operating the Draw Stop Knobs, and adjustable at the console)
   
Solo [& Echo?] Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Swell Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Great Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Choir Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (toe)
               
    Pedal to Manual combinations On and Off (under each manual)  
    Special On and Off for Great Reeds (keycheek)  
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Balanced Crescendo Pedal
    Balanced Solo-Echo Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Choir Pedal    
               
  Temporary wooden church at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue - New York City
  Temporary Church (1907)
Organ in temporary building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street:

Hutchings-Votey Organ Co.
Boston, Mass. (1907)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 17 stops, 17 ranks





Following the 1905 fire, plans were quickly prepared to erect a 1400-seat temporary wooden church within the ruins of the 1870 building. An altar and chancel furnishings were provided by the J. & R. Lamb Studios, and the Hutchings-Votey Co. lent an organ. As work progressed on the new church, the temporary church was removed and stored so that the foundations and nave floor could be built, after which the temporary church was reassembled on the new floor. Holes were poked through the roof of the wooden church when the nave piers were constructed. The temporary church was first used on All Saints' Day with a congregation of five hundred.

The following specification was recorded in an organ notebook by Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), noted concert organist of the early 20th century. Farnam did not indicate manual and pedal compasses, so the following are suggested as typical of Hutchings-Votey organs of the era. The organ was later advertised (The New Music Review, May 1913:4) for sale, with a price of $3,500, by The Ernest M. Skinner Company.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes?
8
  First Diapason
61
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Gross Flöte
61
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes?, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Violina
61
8
  Diapason
61
2
  Flautina
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Cornopean
61
8
  Gedackt
61
8
  Oboe
61
4
  Octave
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Flute
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes?
16
  Diapason
30
       
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Mechanicals
    "Usual mechanicals"      
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Balanced Crescendo Pedal      
               
  Hutchings-Votey organ (1904) at St. Thomas Church - New York City
   
   
   
   
Organ in first building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street:

Hutchings-Votey Organ Co.
Boston, Mass. (1904)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 67 stops




In 1904, Hutchings-Votey of Boston extensively rebuilt the organ to include electro-pneumatic action, but less than a year later, on August 8, 1905, the organ and church were destroyed by fire.

Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
               
  Hilborne Roosevelt organ (1881) at St. Thomas Church - New York City (photo: St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue)
   
   
Organ in first building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street:

Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City (1881-1883)
Tubular-pneumatic and electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 55 stops, 68 ranks, 3,612 pipes




From 1881-83, Hilborne L. Roosevelt returned to St. Thomas Church where he had worked 12 years earlier when the 1870 Hall, Labagh & Co. organ was installed. Roosevelt also devised a method of electrically ringing the ten Meneely tower bells from a small keyboard at the right of the organist.

The description that follows is from a brochure that Roosevelt published regarding this work. Later sources state that the Choir Organ was enclosed (perhaps influenced by his approval of the Cavaillé-Coll organs he had examined while in France).
On May 25, 1881, the RECTOR and VESTRY of ST. THOMAS' CHURCH, contracted with MR. HILBORNE L. ROOSEVELT to reconstruct and enlarge the organ on a plan or scheme by Mr. Roosevelt—in conjunction with the Organist of the Parish, MR. GEO. WM. WARREN.
     The specification amounted to a total rebuilding of the whole Instrument on the most approved plans—using (as the best organ builders do in Europe) fine materials, and all work being finished with a durability, strength and elegance unknown in the earlier organ work of this country, and bringing into requisition every appliance of modern invention and usage, only rejecting what was considered merely complex.
     The contract allowed three vacations (up to 1883) for completion of the specification, but Mr. Roosevelt has preferred to do two-thirds of the work this season, and by CHRISTMAS expects that nothing will be left undone but the SOLO ORGAN (4th Manual) and the 32 feet Double Open Diapason on the pedal organ. TWENTY-TWO of the Registers (or Stops) will be entirely new—including about 1,200 pipes, ranging in length from 32 feet to 3/4 of an inch. All other pipes to be made as good as new, and some better (for age mellows the tone of good diapasons) by revoicing and cleaning as necessary.
     Nearly all the immense amount of mechanism necessary for so large an instrument is also new, and the Key-box, with its four manuals and Fifty-five Sounding Registers (and no half Stops) is a marvel of beauty in appearance and ease of manipulation.
     The Manual Organ (including the Great, Swell and Choir Organs) has been removed to the South Side of the Chancel (that organ chamber having more space than the other). The Key-box, with Organist's Seat is necessarily raised to permit the removal of all action work from the basement (as in the old arrangement).
     The Chamber on the north side contains the Pedal Organ, and will receive the Solo Organ (4th Manual) in due time. The two organs are connected by tubular action (compressed air).
     The Great and Swell Manuals and the pedals are supplied with the pneumatic lever. The Solo Organ will be connected to the keys by an electric and pneumatic action.
     The Couplers are manipulated by Thumb-knobs between the different Key-boards.
     The Great, Swell, Choir and pedal organs are on 3½-inch wind pressure. The Solo Organ will be on 8-inch pressure, and in addition to the Keraulophon,—Flutes (2) and Vox Angelica, will contain a BOMBARDE ORGAN (Three Grand Trumpets) of 16, 8 and 4 feet Register.
     The bellows have been made very ample, with extra reservoir, and so arranged as to be worked by engines, whenever decided upon.
     This slight and imperfect description of a very great work, with the following schedule is issued in answer to numerous inquiries.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes (3½" wind pressure)
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Viola da Gamba
58
    Mixture, 5 ranks
290
8
  Doppel Flöte
58
    Scharff, 3 ranks
174
8
  Clarabella
58
16
  Double Trumpet
58
5 1/3
  Quint
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Octave
58
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Traverse Flute
58
       

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed (3½" wind pressure)
16
  Bourdon
58
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
    Cornet, 5 ranks
290
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
16
  Contra Fagotto
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Quintadena
58
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Dolce
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
8
  Vox Celestis [TC]
46
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Octave
58
       

 

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes, enclosed (3½" wind pressure)
16
  Bell Gamba
58
4
  Gemshorn
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Rohr Flöte
58
8
  Lieblich Gedackt
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Dulciana
58
8
  Clarinet
58
8
  Viol d'Amour
58
       
               
Solo Organ (Manual IV) – 58 notes (8" wind pressure)
8
  Concert Flute
58
16
  Bombarde
58
8
  Keraulophon
58
8
  Bombarde
58
8
  Doppel Flöte
58
4
  Bombarde
58
8
  Vox Angelica
58
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes (3½" wind pressure)
32
  Double Open Diapason
30
10 2/3
  Quint
30
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Contra Gamba
30
    Mixture, 4 ranks
120
16
  Sub Bass
30
16
  Trombone
30
10 2/3
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Couplers ("Activated by Thumb-knobs between the different Key-boards")
    Swell to Great   Swell to Choir
    Swell to Great Octaves   Solo to Pedal
    Choir to Great   Swell to Pedal
    Choir to Great Sub Octaves   Great to Pedal
    Solo to Great   Choir to Pedal
               
Mechanical Accessories
    Swell Tremulant   Eclipse Wind Indicators
    Choir Tremulant  
Electric Time-beater for Choir
    Bellows Signal (Manual side)        on Pedal side
    Bellows Signal (Pedal side)    
               
Pedal Movements
    Great Organ Piano   Swell Organ Piano
    Great Organ Mezzo   Swell Organ Forte
    Great Organ Forte   Bombardes
   
Balanced Swell Pedal
 
               
Original organ in first building at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street:

Hall, Labagh & Co.
New York City (1870)
Tubular-pneumatic and electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 48 stops, 60 ranks


In 1870, Hall, Labagh & Co. of New York City built a new three-manual and pedal organ for the new St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. The organ was divided and placed behind pipe screens on two sides of the chancel: the console, Great, Swell and Choir divisions were on one side and used Barker pneumatic assistance, while the Pedal was located on the other side of the chancel and controlled electrically with a system devised by Hilborne L. Roosevelt, then an employee of Hall, Labagh & Co. Provisions were made for a Solo organ to be added at some future time. An entry in the Hall & Labagh ledger book notes that the organ cost $10,000.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Bell Gamba
58
    Mixture, 4 ranks
232
8
  Clarabella
58
    Sharp Mixture, 3 ranks
174
8
  Doppel Flöte
58
16
  Ophecleide
58
4
  Octave
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Traverse Flute
58
4
  Clarion
58

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Flautino
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
    Cornet, 5 ranks
290
8
  Violin Principal
58
16
  Fagotto
58
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Vox Celestis [TC]
46
8
  Oboe
58
8
  Quintadena
58
8
  Vox Humana
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
4
  Clarion
58
4
  Octave
58
    Tremolo  
4
  Harmonic Flute
58
       

 

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Bell Gamba
58
4
  Hohl Flute
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Rohr Flute
58
8
  Dulciana
58
2
  Piccolo
58
8
  Melodia
58
8
  Clarionet
58
4
  Violina
58
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
32
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Open Diapason
30
8
  Flöte
30
16
  Contra Gamba
30
    Mixture, 4 ranks
120
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
10 2/3
  Quint
30
       
               
Accessories
    5 pneumatic combination pedals   Balanced Swell pedal
    Great and Swell key actions pneumatic   Second pedal to open the sides of the Swell
               
Couplers ("operated by thumb knobs situated in the front of the manuals")
    Swell to Great 8', 4'   Great to Pedal
    Swell to Choir   Swell to Pedal
    Choir to Great   Choir to Pedal
               
Organ in previous church at Broadway and Houston Street:

Hall & Labagh
New York City (1851-52)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 26 stops, 30 ranks


Following the fire of 1851, Hall & Labagh of New York City were contracted to provide an organ for the new St. Thomas Church. The case, designed by Wills and Dudley and painted to imitate oak, was 27 feet high, 17 feet wide and 10 feet deep. When the church relocated to Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street in 1866, the vestry planned to move the organ, but in the end decided to have an entirely new organ built by Hall, Labagh & Co. The 1851 organ was placed in storage until it was sold as a temporary organ for the new Steinway Hall at 14th Street and Fourth (Park) Avenue. The temporary organ remained in Steinway Hall until both were demolished in 1925.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
8
  Large Open Diapason
56
2 2/3
  Twelfth
56
8
  2nd Scale Open Diapason
56
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
    Sesquialtra, 3 ranks
168
4
  Principal
56
8
  Trumpet treble
44?
4
  Night Horn
56
8
  Trumpet bass
12?

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Open Diapason
56
    Cornet, 3 ranks
168
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
16
  Double Trumpet
56
8
  Keraulophon
56
8
  Hautboy
56

 

 

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
16
  Dulciana
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Stopped Diapason treble
44
4
  Flute
56
8
  Stopped Diapason bass
12
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Viol d'Amour
56
8
  Cremona
56

     

     
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
25
       
16
  Double Dulciana
25
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal    
    Choir to Pedal    
    Swell to Great    
    Choir to Great    
    Swell to Choir    
               
Henry Erben
New York City (1831)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 28 stops


Church records show that an organ believed to have been built by Thomas Hall was installed in 1832 at a cost of $3,000. However, an article in the Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer (June 18, 1831) gives the following description:
We were highly gratified last evening in witnessing the opening of the superb Organ recently put up in St. Thomas Church, by Mr. Erben, the builder. This magnificent instrument is the largest ever built or used in the United States, its case is 35 feet high, 18 feet 6 inches wide and 11 feet deep, it contains 28 stops, has 3 sets of keys, and Pedal Bass; the number of pipes contained in it are 1700, the largest pipe is 22 feet long and 21 by 18 inches calibre [sic], equal to 57 cubic feet; the case is superbly finished in the Gothic order, and the tones of the instrument say the least of them, we think have not been excelled by any other in this country.

     Several eminent musical professors attended on the occasion, to try the organ; and a highly respectable audience enjoyed a great treat in hearing it touched in a manner which, while it did justice to the high finish of the instrument, was highly honourable to the musical talent of our city.

     We feel assured we only speak in accordance with the feelings of all who have seen and heard this instrument, when we say, that Mr. Erben has done himself great credit in making and erecting it.
The organ and church were destroyed by fire on March 2, 1851.
               
Organ in first church building, located at Broadway and Houston Street:

Hall & Erben
New York City (1825)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 13 stops, 13 ranks


According to the Henry Erben opus lists, his firm provided an organ in 1825 for the first St. Thomas Church edifice. Church records show that an organ was rented for $500. This organ was replaced in 1831 when a larger Erben organ was installed. The 1825 Hall & Erben organ was sold to St. Clement's Church in 1831, and was later sold to the Free-Will Baptist Church in 1866.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes [G, A to F]
8
  Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Stop Diapason
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
4
  Principal
58
8
  Cremona [TF]
37
4
  Flute
58
       

 

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes [G, A to F], enclosed
8
  Open Diapason [TF]
37
8
  Dulciana [TF]
37
8
  St. Diapason Bass
21
4
  Principal [TF]
37
8
  St. Diapason Treble [TF]
37
8
  Trumpet [TF]
37

 

 

     
Pedal Organ – 17 notes [G, A to C], 13 pipes
16
  Double Open Diapason
13
       
               
Couplers
    Great Organ to Swell    
    Great Organ to Pedals    
             
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/
     Blanchard, Homer D. "The Organ in the United States: A Study in Design", an article in The Bicentennial Tracker. Richmond: Organ Historical Society, Inc., 1976.
     Boston Organ Club Newsletter? (date unknown). Specifications of Henry Erben Organ (1831) - actually the Hall & Erben Organ (1825) as installed in the Free-Will Baptist Church. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Callahan, Charles. The American Classic Organ - A History in Letters. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1990. Aeolian-Skinner shop notes dated October 12, 1955.
     Dolkart, Andrew S. and Matthew A. Postal. Guide to New York City Landmarks (Third Edition). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004.
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Farnam, Lynnwood. "Organ Notebook," Specifications of Hutchings-Votey organ (1907) in the temporary wooden church. John de Lancie Library, The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia; Sally Branca, Archivist. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     "G. Donald Harrison, Manufacturer, Dies; Noted Designer of Pipe Organs Was 67," The New York Times (June 16, 1956).
     Goldsworthy, William A. "Dr. Candlyn & St. Thomas," The American Organist (June 1949). Specifications of M.P. Möller Organ, Op. 7900 (1948).
     Hall, Labagh & Co. Account Ledger Book (1868-1873), pages 195, 204 & 235: cost of 1870 organ is $10,000. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     "Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Manufacturer of Church, Chapel, Concert and Chamber Organs," catalog pub. by Roosevelt Organ Works (Dec. 1888); republished by The Organ Literature Foundation (Braintree, Mass., 1978). Courtesy Sand Lawn and David Scribner.
     Holden, Dorothy. The Life and Work of Ernest M. Skinner. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1987.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Musical Courier and New-York Enquirer, June 18, 1831. Article about Henry Erben Organ (1831). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     The New Music Review (August 1913, Vol. 12, No. 141):268. Specifications of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913).
     The New Music Review (May 1913, Vol. 12, No. 138):4. Ernest M. Skinner Company Ad for Hutchings-Votey Organ (1907).
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977. Specifications of Hall & Labagh organ (1851-52).
     Roosevelt, Hilborne L. "Description of the Organ of St. Thomas' Church, New York, as Rebuilt and Enlarged by Hilborne L. Roosevelt." Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue web site: http://www.saintthomaschurch.org
     Self, William. For Mine Eyes Have Seen. Worcester: Worcester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, 1990.
     "Stop, Open and Reed – a Periodical Presentation of Pipe Organ Progress". Boston: Skinner Organ Company, 1922-1927.
     Trupiano, Larry. Console details of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956).
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J.; courtesy Jonathan Bowen. Cites New York Musical Gazette (Nov. 1874, p.358) regarding H.L. Roosevelt devising way to electrically play the ten Meneely bells in the church tower.
     Wright, J. Robert. Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. New York: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company and Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, 2001.

Illustrations:
     Bowen, Jonathan. Hutchings-Votey brochure photo of 1904 organ.
     Callahan, Charles. The American Classic Organ - A History in Letters: Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956).
     deZanger, Arie. St. Thomas Church exterior.
     Kidder, Frank Eugene. Churches and Chapels. New York: William T. Comstock, 1906. Hutchings-Votey Organ (1904).
     Lawson, Steven E. Pipe display on left (Liturgical North) side of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A (1956).
     Rust, John. Case of E.M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913), from below (color).
     St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Interior with Roosevelt organ; interior of temporary wooden church with Hutchings-Votey organ.
     "The Skinner Organ," booklet published by Ernest M. Skinner Company. Case of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913). Courtesy John Rust.
     Stein, Ken. Console and case of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 205-A; rev. (color).
    "Stop, Open and Reed – a Periodical Presentation of Pipe Organ Progress". Boston: Skinner Organ Company, 1922-1927: case of Ernest M. Skinner Organ, Op. 205 (1913).
             
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