Architect's rendering of Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle; Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)
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Church of the Redeemer
(Episcopal)

561 Pacific Street at Fourth Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11217

Organ Specifications:
561 Pacific Street at Fourth Avenue (1866-2012)
II/20 Midmer/Gunzelman; rev. as of (2006)
II/32 Paul Gunzelman (1965); reb. of Midmer
II/27 Reuben Midmer & Sons (1906)
• Reuben Midmer & Sons – Sunday school
• II/27 Johnson & Son, Op. 203 (1866)
Fulton Avenue and Elm Place (1855-1866)
• William H. Davis (1858)


The Church of the Redeemer was founded on June 26, 1853, with services held in a hall over the market on the corner of Fulton Avenue and Elm Place. In 1854, the vestry purchased seven lots and proceeded to erect a chapel capable of containing five hundred persons. The edifice was in the Byzantine style, after designs by Mr. G. Wheeler, architect, and cost with the lots, was $18,000. It was first occupied for public worship on Easter Day 1855.

Chancel of Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle; Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)  
Following the Civil War, the congregation built a new edifice on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Pacific Street. As designed by Patrick C. Keely, the Gothic-inspired structure was built of blue stone with sandstone trimming, and consists of the nave, aisles, and the chancel, with recesses on either side for the organ and antiphonal choirs. The altar and font were of elaborately carved Caen stone, with chancel and other furniture of black walnut. Formally opened on July 1, 1866, the completed church cost a little over $30,000, including the organ. The church was later elegantly decorated with polychrome.

Following years of declining membership, the congregation began worshiping at St. Luke & St. Matthew Church (Clinton Hill) in Brooklyn. The building was closed in the Spring of 2012 with plans to redevelop the site.
               
  Facade pipes of the Midmer & Son organ at Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Diego LaJolla)
Reuben Midmer & Sons/Gunzelman
Brooklyn, N.Y. (1906); rev.; as of 2006
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 25 stops, ca. 21 ranks
               
Console of Midmer & Son organ at Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) - Brooklyn, N.Y. (photo: Diego LaJolla)  
The present organ at Church of the Redeemer dates from the Reuben Midmer & Sons organ of 1906. The action was electrified in the 1950s, and over the years various tonal changes were made and a new electric console installed. As of 2006, three ranks are extant in the organ chamber but are not connected to the present console: a wooden 16' Open Diapason, an 8' Doppel Flute, and a Pedal Trumpet. Almost all of the Great division's pipes are missing, some of the Aeoline rank still exists, and the Chimes and most of the toeboards have disappeared. The Swell division is extant. Following is the specification as of 2006:
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Aeoline  
4
  Flute d'Amour  
8
  Melodia  
2
  Fifteenth  
8
  Dulciana       Tremulant  
8
  Unda Maris       Chimes  
4
  Octave          
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon  
4
  Chimney Flute  
8
  Diapason  
2 2/3
  Nasard  
8
  Rohr Flute  
2
  Flautino  
8
  Salicional  
8
  Oboe  
8
  Voix Celeste  
8
  Trumpet (Mixture)  
4
  Principal          
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
8
  Bourdon  
16
  Bourdon  
4
  Choral Bass  
10 2/3
  Quint  
4
  Flute
SW
8
  Octave       Blank  
               
Paul Gunzelman
New York City (1965)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 31 stops, ~32 ranks


In 1965, Paul Gunzelman of New York rebuilt the Reuben Midmer & Sons organ with the following specification:
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Principal  
2 2/3
  Nazard  
8
  Principal  
2
  Gemshorn  
8
  Wood Flute  
1 3/5
  Tierce  
8
  Dulciana       Mixture III-IV ranks  
4
  Octave  
8
  Trumpet  
4
  Open Flute          
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon  
4
  Principal  
8
  Viole  
1 1/3
  Quint  
8
  Viole Celeste       Scharf II-III ranks  
8
  Gedeckt  
8
  Schalmey-Oboe  
4
  Geigen       Tremolo  
4
  Harmonic Flute          
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Cornet  
4
  Octave [ext.?]  
16
  Principal  
4
  Chorale Flute [ext.?]  
16
  Subbass  
2
  Octave [ext.?]  
8
  Octave       Rauschquite II ranks  
8
  Gedecktpommer [ext.?]  
16
  Posaune  
               
Reuben Midmer & Sons
Brooklyn, N.Y. (1906)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 26 stops, 27 ranks


In 1906, the Reuben Midmer & Sons firm built a new organ for the Church of the Redeemer, installing it in a corner chamber of the chancel. The following specification was recorded by F.R. Webber (1887-1963), whose "Organ Scrapbooks" are in the possession of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Open Diapasaon [1-12 stopped]
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Open Diapasaon
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Viol d'Gamba
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Trumpet
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
8
  Clarinet
61
8
  Melodia *
49
   
* 1-12 common bass with Doppel Flute
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Violina
61
8
  Violin Diapason
61
4
  Flute Harmonique
61
8
  Salicional
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
    Cornet, 2 ranks
122
8
  Aeoline
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Tremolo  
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Violoncello
30
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal       Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'  
    Great to Pedal          
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Crescendo Pedal   2 Comb. Pedal on Great
               
Organ in the Sunday school:

Reuben Midmer & Sons
Brooklyn, N.Y.


The ledger books of Reuben Midmer & Sons show that they had an organ in the Sunday school. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
               
Johnson & Son
Westfield, Mass. – Opus 203 (1866)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 26 stops, 27 ranks


In 1866, a new organ was installed by Johnson & Son of Westfield, Mass. According to The Johnson Organs by John Van Varick Elsworth, this organ was removed for Mrs. George Parker, donor of the 1906 Reuben Midmer & Sons organ. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.

               
William H. Davis
New York City (1858)
Mechanical action


The original organ for the first church was built in 1858 by William H. Davis of New York City. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     The Diapason (Sept. 1965). Stoplist of Paul Gunzelman rebuild of organ (1965). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
     Elsworth, John Van Varick. The Johnson Organs. Harrisville, N.H: The Boston Organ Club Chapter of the Organ Historical Society, 1984.
     LaJolla, Diego. Specification (as of 2006) of Midmer/Gunzelman organ.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York: The Monacelli Press, Inc., 1999.
     Stiles, Henry Reed. History of the City of Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn: 1867-70.
     Trupiano, Larry. Specification of Reuben Midmer & Sons organ (1906), from the Midmer Ledger Books.
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specification of Johnson & Son organ, Op. 203 (1866). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     AJWB Collection. Reuben Midmer & Sons organ facade; console in 2006.
     Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Collection. Exterior.