Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church - Brooklyn, New York
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Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church

3114 Glenwood Road at East 31st Street
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11210

Organ Specifications:
3114 Glenwood Road near East 31st Street
Present building (since c.1925)
• III/58 Allen Organ Company electronic (2006)
• II/ Hammond Musical Instrument Co. Model B-3
II/10 Austin Organ Company, Op. 1352 (1925)
First building (1902-c.1925)
• II/10 M.P. Möller, Inc.
Avenue D and East 38th Street (1895-1902)
• unknown

Vanderveer Park is the area of East Flatbush that was originally a part of the Vanderveer Farm. The acreage was purchased in 1893 by Henry A. Meyer's Germania Real Estate Company, which then developed the newly cut streets with Victorian-style buildings.

A society of German Methodists led by Rev. George H. Simons, pastor, erected a small chapel at Avenue D and East 38th Street that was dedicated on April 28, 1895, with services in German and English. By August 1898, the church membership had grown significantly and plans were made for an addition to accomodate the Sunday school. On October 17, 1900, the Vanderveer Park Methodist Episcopal Church was officially organized with forty members and one probationer. This congregation was identified as "Salem Methodist Episcopal Church" in the publication, Flatbush of To-Day (April 1908).

1902 Chapel of Vanderveer Park Methodist Church - Brooklyn, New York  
Under the leadership of the Rev. S. W. Eaton, the society erected a large tent at Avenue G and East 31st Street in which evangelistic services were held. This tent was also the site of concerts given every Saturday evening that became "quite a social feature of the park." As a result, the church grew both spiritually and in financial strength. On July 27, 1902, the cornerstone was laid for a new chapel that would be built on Glenwood Road at East 32nd Street. The frame building had shingled sides and a blue stone base, and it covered 37 by 65 feet of a plot that measured 100 by 107 feet. The auditorium was finished in cypress and could accomodate about 280 person. Folding partitions on the main floor enclosed spaces for the Sunday school and Bible class; for services, the partitions could be thrown open. Built at a cost of about $6,000, the chapel faced Glenwood Road and was positioned to leave space for the erection of church building and for a parsonage that would be built along East 32nd Street.

At some point, possibly around 1925 when the Austin organ was installed, the present red brick church building was opened. On Friday, June 28, 1974, a three-alarm fire broke out in the church's basement, destroying much of the building. The church was repaired over the course of sixteen months – with help from neighboring Protestant and Catholic churches, Congregation B'nai Jacob and other local organizations – and was reopened on November 2, 1975.
  Allen Organ Company Quantum 370 electronic organ
Allen Organ Company
Macungie, Penn. – Quantum 370 (2006)
Electronic tonal production
3 manuals, 58 stops

In 2006, an electronic instrument produced by the Allen Organ Company was installed. The organ is known as the "Quantum 370" model and has three manuals.
  Hammond Musical Instrument Co. Model B3
Hammond Musical Instrument Co.
Chicago, Ill. – Model B3
Electric action
2 manuals

At an unknown time, the church acquired a Model B3 electronic organ built by the Hammond Musical Instrument Company of Chicago.
Austin Organ Company
Hartford, Conn. – Opus 1352 (1925)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 10 stops, 10 ranks

The following specifications were recorded (Dec. 27, 1954) by Charles Scharpeger, an organ tuner in the area. Scharpeger noted that the Austin organ had a detached console and a Spencer Orgablo blower powered by a Century motor that provided 5" wind pressure. An entry dated April 1964 showed that Royal Insurance declared the organ's value at the time was $10,000 with a replacement cost of $20,000.
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
  Open Diapason
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
  Violin Diapason
  Flute d'Amour
  Stopped Diapason
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
  Open Diapason
    Great to Pedal 8'   Great to Great 4', 16'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Swell 4', 16'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Great Unison
        Swell Unison
Adjustable Combinations
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (toe)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Crescendo Pedal   Sforzando Pedal
Organ in first church building:

M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md.
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 10 stops

An organ built by M.P. Möller of Hagerstown, Md., was installed in the church. However, the Möller opus list does not show an organ for this church so it seems likely that the organ was acquired second-hand. In 1913, an electric blower was installed on this organ, possibly when the organ was installed. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
     "A Brooklyn Church Dedicated," The New York Times (Apr. 29, 1895).
     Allen Organ Company web site:
     "Chapel of Vanderveer Park M. E. Church To Be Dedicated Next Sunday," Brooklyn Eagle (Oct. 8, 1902).
     Flatbush of To-Day (Vol. II, No. 1, April 1908).
     "Methodist Church Opens in Flatbush," The New York Times (Nov. 2, 1975).
     "Minutes of the New York East Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church," pub. 1899.
     "News from the Suburbs," Brooklyn Eagle (Dec. 23, 1897).
     "9 Hurt at Fire at Brooklyn Church," The New York Times (June 30, 1974).
     Scharpeger, Charles. Specifications (Dec. 27, 1954) of Austin Organ, Op. 1352 (1925). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     "To Enlarge a Church," Brooklyn Eagle (Aug. 24, 1898).
     Trupiano, Larry. Electronic correspondence (10/29/2012) regarding 1913 blower on II/10 M.P. Möller organ.
     "Vanderveer Park Methodists Will Celebrate To-morrow," Brooklyn Eagle (July 26, 1902).

     Allen Organ Company web site. Allen Organ Quantum 370.
     Brooklyn Eagle (Oct. 8, 1902:7). Drawing of 1902 chapel.
     Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church page on Exterior.