St. George Protestant Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (Brooklyn Eagle, 1909)
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St. George Episcopal Church

800 Marcy Avenue at Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11216
http://www.stgeorgeschurchbedstuy.org/


Organ Specifications:
800 Marcy Avenue at Gates Avenue (since 1888):
• III/ Johannus Organs electronic (2004)
• Saville Organ Company electronic (1972)
• Midmer-Light (>1918); reb. & elec. of Hillgreen, Lane
II/26 Hillgreen, Lane & Company, Op. 12 (1900)
• II/25 Hook & Hastings, Op. 1360 (1887) – burned 1900
Greene Avenue (1870-1888):
• II/ Ferris & Stuart (1869)


The society known today as St. George's Protestant Episcopal Church was founded by Rev. Alvah Guion, who conducted services in a small frame building on Clifton Place near Marcy Avenue. This building was originally a Methodist Chapel, but by the time Rev. Guion began his work it had become a school and was used during the week as a carpenter shop. There a very small congregation met weekly from the Spring of 1869 until the Fall of the same year. In October 1869, the society was formally organized as St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Then a mission Sunday-school building on the corner of Monroe Street and Marcy Avenue was obtained, rent free, not three hundred feet from the present church. In this building the congregation worshiped until the basement of their new church was ready for occupancy.

The first church building was located on Greene Avenue between Marcy Street and Tompkins Avenue. With a great deal of fanfare the parish held its first service there on February 27, 1870, only four months after the cornerstone was laid, but the church was not fully completed until October 1871.

In 1873, an application was made for admission to unite with the newly formed (1869) Diocese of Long Island. This raised the question of the church's name: the original name of St. Thomas had been changed in the early days of the parish to Guion Church, in honor of its founder. Exception was taken to this name, as it was contrary to the usages of the church. Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, the name of Guion Church was changed to St. George's Church of the City of Brooklyn, its present name.

By 1885, the parish had outgrown the its first building and funds were raised to construct a larger church. Plans were drawn by Richard Michell Upjohn (son of nationally prominent Richard Upjohn) in the Fall of 1886, and on June 24, 1887, the Bishop of Long Island laid the cornerstone of a new church that would occupy an 80 by 112 foot site at the southwest corner of Gates and Marcy Avenues. Upjohn designed the new church in the High Victorian Gothic style, using a Ruskinian Gothic design rendered in a checkerboard of red brick trimmed with stone. An entrance porch with stout stone columns faces Marcy Avenue, and next to the porch is an octagonal tower that serves as a chimney. The nave has a steeply pitched roof of slate, and on either side are aisles covered with roofs having a shallower pitch. The church was opened for worship on January 13, 1888. After completing the church, Upjohn designed a parish house that was built in 1889 and ready for use in 1890.

In January 1900, the church was gutted by a three-alarm fire, fanned by the interior of Georgia pine and Christmas decorations of evergreen and holly that had not yet been taken down. While the church was rebuilt, the congregation met in the Sunday-school room of nearby Marcy Avenue Baptist Church. Further improvements were made to the buildings from 1900-1906.

With the coming of the years of the First World War, there was a gradual demographic change in the neighborhood which began to manifest itself in the life of the church. Upon the persuasion of the Rector and the Bishop, it was decided to open the doors of the church to all and make it really a church for all people.

St. George's Episcopal Church was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in January 1977.
           
Johannus Organs
Ede, The Netherlands (2004)
Digital tonal production
3 manuals - "American Classic"

In 2004, the church purchased a three-manual electronic instrument manufactured by Johannus Organs of The Netherlands. This instrument replaced their previous electronic instrument from 1972.
             
Saville Organ Company
Chicago, Ill. (1972)
Analog tonal production
67 stops


In the Spring of 1972, the pipe organ ceased to function and was replaced by a Saville Organ having 67 stops, at the time considered to be the finest in electronic equipment.
             
Midmer-Light
Long Island, N.Y. (>1918)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals?


Sometime after 1918, the Midmer-Light Company rebuilt and electrified the 1900 Hillgreen, Lane organ. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
             
  Möller Organ, Op. 6837 (1940) - Christ Church, Cobble Hill - Brooklyn, New York
Hillgreen, Lane & Company
Alliance, Ohio – Opus 12 (1900)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 24 stops, 26 ranks


The contract dated May 24, 1900 between Hillgreen, Lane and Company and St. George's Church shows that this organ was built at a cost of $3,345. In the photo at the right, the organ can be seen on the left side of the chancel.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Flute d'Amour
61
8
  Viol di Gamba
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Melodia
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Dulciana
61
8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Principal
61
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
 
Bourdon Bass } split knob
Bourdon Treble }
12
4
  Flute Harmonic
61
16
 
49
4
  Fugara
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
2
  Piccolo
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Dolce Cornet, 3 ranks
183
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Oboe & Bassoon
61
8
  Vox Celeste
61
    Swell Tremulant (piston knob)
8
  Aeoline
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Flute
30
               
Couplers & Mechanicals
    Swell to Great Coupler     Bellows Signal
    Swell to Pedal Coupler     Wind Indicator
    Great to Pedal Coupler     Crescendo Dial
    Superoctave Swell to Great Coupler     Crank for Motor
          Pedal Check
               
Combination Piston Buttons (each drawing an appropriate Pedal support.)
    Great Organ Forte     Swell Organ Forte
    Great Organ Mezzo     Swell Organ Mezzo
    Great Organ Piano     Swell Organ Piano
               
Pedal Movements
    Great to Pedal Reversible    
    Crescendo, Decrescendo and Full Organ Pedal
    Balanced Swell Pedal    
             
Original organ in present church:

Hook & Hastings Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 1360 (1887)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 25 stops


The original organ in the present building was built in 1887 by the Hook & Hastings Company of Boston. On January 13, 1900, a fire destroyed the organ and the church interior. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Organ in church located on Greene Avenue between Marcy and Tompkins Avenues:

Ferris & Stuart
New York City (1869)
Mechanical action
2 manuals


The previous church building on Greene Avenue had a two-manual organ built in 1869 by Ferris & Stuart of New York City. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
             
Sources:
     "Brooklyn Church Burned," The New York Times (Jan. 7, 1900).
     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.
     Morrone, Francis. An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Brooklyn: Gibbs Smith, 2001.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     St. George Episcopal Church website: http://www.stgeorgeschurchbedstuy.org/
     Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York City: The Monacelli Press, 1999.
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specifications of Hillgreen, Lane & Company organ, Op. 12 (1900).

Illustrations:
     Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection. Interior (1906); exterior (1909).