c.1905 photo of St. Matthew Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (MCNY)
 
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St. Matthew Episcopal Church

69 McDonough Street at Tompkins Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11216


Organ Specifications:
69 McDonough Street at Tompkins Avenue (1889-1943)
III/29 M.P. Möller, Op. 3417 (1922)
III/29 Alexander Mills ?
• II/ Reuben Midmer & Sons – Parish House
Throop Avenue at Pulaski Street (1861-1889)
• unknown





The Free Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Matthew was organized on May 25, 1859, with the Rev. D.V.M. Johnson serving as its first rector. In the next month, Mr. Jeremiah J. Rapelje gave four lots of land, totalling one hundred feet square, on the southeast corner of Throop Avenue and Pulaski Street, on which to erect a church. At that time, the neighborhood streets were not yet graded and fields were planted with corn. In a few short years, however, more buildings would be erected and the population would increase. A building committee was appointed and a plan for the church was prepared by Gamaliel King, architect. Ground was broken on December 15, 1859, and on July 2, 1860, the cornerstone was laid by the rector and assistant minister. Finally, in February 1861, the building was opened for services. The frame building, designed in the Gothic style, measured 45 feet wide by 80 feet deep, and had a bell tower 12 feet square with a spire rising 130 feet high. The church could accomodate 450 persons and cost $9,209.64.

In 1889, the congregation moved into the former Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church, a red brick Gothic building located on the corner of McDonough Street and Tompkins Avenue that had been erected in 1873 as the Tompkins Avenue Presbyterian Church. St. Matthew's congregation remained in this building for over five decades, but by the 1940s the demographics of the area changed and many members moved to other areas or out of the city. In 1943, the church was closed and the remaining members merged into St. Luke Episcopal Church, located at 520 Clinton Avenue near Fulton Street. Since 1944, the McDonough Street building has been home to the Stuyvesant Heights Christian Church.
               
M. P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 3417 (1922)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 32 stops, 29 ranks


In 1922, St. Matthew's Church commissioned the firm of M.P. Möller to build a new organ. The Memorandum of Agreement and Factory Specifications (both June 15, 1922) show that Möller would reuse many pipes from the previous organ but would use all new chests. Möller retained the existing cases and display pipes, and provided a new detached, three-manual stop-key console. This organ cost a total of $7,500, and was to be completed and ready for use on or before September 15, 1923.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir
16
  Diapason *
61
4
  Octave *
61
8
  1st Diapason *
61
4
  Flute Harmonic * #
61
8
  2nd Diapason
61
2
  Fifteenth * #
61
8
  Viola da Gamba #
61
8
  Tuba #
61
8
  Dulciana * #
61
    Chimes [later addition]  
8
  Doppel Flöte * #
61
   
# in Choir box
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon *
73
8
  Dulciana *
73
8
  Diapason
73
8
  Stopped Flute *
73
8
  Violin Diapason *
73
4
  Flute *
73
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Vox Humana
61
8
  Viole Celeste [TC] (part old)
61
8
  Oboe *
73
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Violoncello *
73
8
  Stopped Diapason *
73
8
  Salicional *
73
4
  Flute d'Amour *
73
8
  Melodia *
73
8
  Clarinet
73
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant Bass
16
  Gedeckt *
SW
16
  Diapason [1-25 *]
44
8
  Flute [ext. 16' Diap.]
16
  Bourdon
32
8
  Violoncello
32
               
           
* ranks retained from previous organ
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8'   Great to Great 4'
    Pedal to Pedal 8'   Great Unison Separation
    Great to Swell 8'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Swell 4', 16'   Choir to Choir 16', 4'
    Swell Unison Release   Choir Unison Separation
            Coupler Cancel  
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Great & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Choir & Pedal Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Full Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)
               
Pedal Movements
    Great to Pedal Reversible    
    Swell Expression Pedal    
    Choir Expression Pedal    
    Crescendo Pedal    
         
Accessories
    Tremolo to Swell   Tremolo to Choir
             
  c.1905 photo of St. Matthew Episcopal Church - Brooklyn, N.Y. (MCNY)
 
c.1905 iInterior showing organ
Alexander Mills ?
New York City
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 27 stops, 29 ranks




Sometime after St. Matthew's acquired the former Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church, a new organ was installed. There is evidence that suggests this organ was built by Alexander Mills, who was active in New York City from 1850 to after 1887. The following specification was recorded (Sept. 12, 1910) by Louis F. Mohr & Co., a local organ service concern. Mohr stated that the manual compass was 58 notes, but the M.P. Möller Agreement (June 15, 1922) shows that there were 56 notes.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
56
4
  Flute Harmonic
56
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Principal
56
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
2 2/3
  Twelfth
56
8
  Gamba
56
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Dolce
56
8
  Trumpet
56
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon Bass
12
8
  Dulciana [TC]
44
16
  Bourdon Treble [TC]
44
4
  Flute
56
8
  Open Diapason [TC]
44
2
  Fifteenth
56
8
  Stopped Diapason Bass
12
    Cornet (3 ranks?)
168
8
  Stopped Diapason Treble [TC]
44
8
  Oboe
56
8
  Viola [TC]
44
       
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Melodia
56
4
  Flute
56
8
  Stopped Diapason
56
4
  Violin
56
8
  Salicional [1-12 grooved?]
44
8
  Clarinet [TC]
44
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Open Diapason
25
       
8
  Violoncello
25
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal   Great to Choir
    Great to Pedal   Swell to Great
    Swell to Choir    
               
Mechanicals
    Tremolo    
    Balanced Swell Pedal    
    "1 Comb. on Gt – "throws some on when heel depressed & some off when toe is depressed. Pedal is same as Swell pedal."
     
    Kinetic blower (operates org in Parish house also – a 2 m. Midmer – sold to Cal. Luth. 11/16)
               
Sources:
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specification (Jan. 3, 1954) of M.P. Möller organ, Op. 3417 (1922). Courtesy Larry Trupiano
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specification (Sept. 12, 1910) of "Old Organ". Courtesy Larry Trupiano
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Stiles, Henry Reed. History of the City of Brooklyn: Including the Old Town and Village of Brooklyn, the Town of Bushwick, and the Village and City of Williamsburgh. Brooklyn: pub. by subscription, 1863.
     Trupiano, Larry. Memorandum of Agreement & Specifications (June 15, 1922) for M.P. Möller organ, Op. 3417.

Illustrations:
     Museum of the City of New York. c.1905 exterior and interior.