Edgehill Church at Spuyten Devil - Bronx, NY
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Edgehill Church at Spuyten Duyvil
(United Church of Christ)

2570 Independence Avenue
Bronx, N.Y. 10463


Organ Specifications:
2570 Independence Avenue (since 1889)
II/13 William Laws Organ Co. (1939)
• unknown (c.1889)
Puddler's Lane (1869-1889)
• unknown


The congregation known today as Edgehill Church of Spuyten Duyvil was organized in 1869 as a mission chapel of the Riverdale Presbyterian Church to serve the workers of the Johnson Iron Foundry, located on the southern portion of Spuyten Duyvil, on a peninsula that jutted into Spuyten Duyvil Creek. The Johnson Iron Foundry and the adjoining Spuyten Duyvil Rolling Mill Co., owned by Elias Johnson and David Cox, were extremely successful during the Civil War, and by the 1860s they employed about 300 people. Small houses and a school were erected north of the factory, and the mission chapel served the religious needs of the workers and their families. Until Spuyten Duyvil was developed with high-rise buildings following the construction of the Henry Hudson Parkway, the area was rural and known for its large riverside estates and country houses.

Although the congregation of the Riverdale Presbyterian Chapel was never large (most of the foundry workers were Irish Catholics), in 1888 the congregation commissioned Francis B. Kimball, a prominent architect of New York City, to design a new chapel. The result was an eclectic building in which Kimball combined elements from the Romanesque Revival, neo-Tudor and Shingle styles. The church contains windows from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Studio.

As the demographics of the area changed, the church congregation declined. In the late 1970s, plans were announced that the church would close and be converted into a community center, but the pastoral leadership was assumed by the Rev. Dr. William A. Tieck, a retired Methodist, who led the congregation until his death in 1997.

Edgehill Church was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1980, and was added to the National Register of Historical Place in 1982.
         
William Laws Organ Co.
Beverly, Mass. (1939)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 17 stops, 13 ranks
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Diapason  
4
  Octave  
8
  Melodia  
4
  Flute d'Amour  
8
  Gamba  
 
  Chimes  
8
  Dulciana  

     

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Diapason  
8
  Aeoline  
8
  Gedeckt  
4
  Harmonic Flute  
8
  Salicional       Tremolo  
8
  Voix Celeste       Chimes  

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
16
  Bourdon [unit]
56
4
  Bourdon [ext.]
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt [ext. SW]
12
       
           
Sources:
     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.
     National Register of Historic Places web site: http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Designation List 138 (LP01086); Nov. 25, 1980.
     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.

Illustration:
     Henderson, Jim. Exterior (2009).