Church of St. Augustine (Catholic) - Bronx, N.Y. (Catholic New York)
Church of St. Augustine
(Roman Catholic)

1183 Franklin Avenue at 167th Street
The Bronx, N.Y. 10456

Organ Specifications:
1183 Franklin Street at 167th Street (1895-2011)
I/5 M.P. Möller, Inc., Op. 1151 (1910) – Sanctuary
III/41 Müller & Abel, Op. 61 (1902) – Gallery
• George Jardine & Son (1895)
Franklin Avenue and Jefferson Street (1860-burned 1894)
• unknown


The parish was founded in 1849 to serve German and Irish immigrants. Father Eugene Maguire was the first pastor. The first Mass was celebrated in a private home on the west side of Boston Road. The following year, parishioners purchased an acre of land on the northeast corner of Franklin Avenue and Jefferson Street and built a small wooden church on the site.

The Sisters of Charity arrived in 1887 and opened a parish school.

Church of St. Augustus (Catholic) - Bronx, N.Y. (postcard, ca. 1908)  
St. Augustus Church, ca.1908
 
In 1894, a fire destroyed the church. Property was purchased at 167th Street and Franklin Avenue to build again, and the following year, Mass was celebrated for the first time in the new church. At the same time, St. Augustine's School opened at its present location, under the direction of the Christian Brothers.

St. Augustine's parish originally included the Morrisania, Melrose, Tremont, West Farms, High Bridge and Woodstock sections. As the population of the Bronx grew between the 1850s and 1890s, four parishes were established from its territory: St. Jerome's, Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph's and SS. Peter and Paul.

During the 1940s, the Morrisania section, where St. Augustine's is located, changed from an area that was predominantly German and Irish to a mostly black neighborhood. Many of the new residents were Protestant, and as a result, the number of parishioners dropped from more than 1,000 to fewer than 300. Eventually, the parish recovered, attracted new families and achieved stability.

In 1972, the parish formed the St. Augustine Gospel Choir, the first Catholic gospel choir in the Bronx. The choir performed at gospel festivals around the country. Two years later, the church was renovated under the direction of its pastor, Father Robert A. Jeffers, to reflect the African-American heritage of its parishioners. The altar was moved to the center of the church, with pews on three sides allowing for a closer physical connection between the priests and the congregation.

St. Augustine's was closed by the Archdiocese in 2011, and the the convent, rectory, and church were demolished in 2013.
         
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 1151 (1910)
Electro-pneumatic action
1 manual, 11 registers, 5 stops, 5 ranks


In Book 5 of the M.P. Möller ledger books there is a note concerning Op. 1151 that reads, "to be connected to the main organ for an additional $300."
               
Manual – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Stentorphone
73
8
  Philomela [1-12 fr. Stentorphone]
61
8
  Viole d'Orchestre
73
8
  Harmonique Tuba [sic]
73

     

     
Pedal – 30 notes
16
  Bourdon
42
       
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Pistons No. 1 & 2 affecting Manual & Pedal stops
    Pedal Pistons No. 1 & 2 affecting Manual & Pedal stops
               
Mechanicals
    Pedal Octaves   Tremulant
    Manul to Pedal   Balanced Swell Pedal [mechanical]
    Manual 4'   Wind Indicator
    Manual 16'   Electric Blower
         
Müller & Abel
New York City – Opus 61 (1902)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 34 stops, 41 ranks


The Müller & Abel opus list shows the company built their Op. 61 in 1902. It seems quite possible that Müller & Abel electrified the 1895 George Jardine & Son organ that had been installed only a few years earlier.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
16
  Bourdon
61
4
  Hohl Flute
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
2 2/3
  Quint
61
8
  Viol da Gamba
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
    Mixture IV-V ranks
293?
8
  Dulciana
61
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
61
2
  Flageolet
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
    Cornet [4 ranks]
244
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Saxophone
61
8
  Vox Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Vox Humana
61
4
  Flauto Traverso
61
    Tremolo  
4
  Gemshorn
61
       
               
Solo Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Stentorphone
61
4
  Flute
61
8
  Philomela
61
8
  Harmonic Tuba
61
8
  Viol Gamba
61
       
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
10 2/3
  Quinte
30
16
  Bourdon
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Sub Bass
30
16
  Trombone
30
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great       Great to Pedal  
    Swell to Great Octaves       Swell to Pedal  
    Solo to Great          
           
George Jardine & Son
New York City (c.1895)
Mechanical action


The Geo. Jardine & Son opus list includes an organ for St. Augustine's Church, which in all probability was built in 1895 for the opening of the present building. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.
     Steele, Stephen. "It's...Alive,"Catholic New York (Oct. 21, 1999).
     Trupiano, Larry. Ledger Book Specification of M.P. Möller organ, Op. 1151 (1910).

Illustrations:
     Catholic New York. Exterior
     Vintage postcard, c.1907.