Roman Catholic Church St. Philip Neri - The Bronx, NY
 
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Church of St. Philip Neri
(Roman Catholic)

3025 Grand Concourse at 202nd Street
Bronx, N.Y. 10468
http://church.stphilipneribronx.org/


Organ Specifications:
III/34 Schantz Organ Company, Op. 2200 (2001)
III/50 Casavant Frères, Op. 2599 (1960)
• unknown (1933)
II/15 Henry Erben (1853) – moved (c.1899)




The Church of St. Philip Neri was founded in 1898 in the Bedford Park area of the Bronx. In the same year the cornerstone was laid for the present church; the neo-Gothic building of stone was completed in 1899 and dedicated in May 1900. Its first parishioners were Italian immigrants; the men worked on the Jerome Park Reservoir project and built the church with stone they quarried at the reservoir and hauled to the church site after work. Later the congregation was largely Irish. Both groups still are represented, along with large numbers of Hispanic and Asian members as well as African-Americans.

In the early morning of December 4, 1912, a fire broke out in the library and meeting room located in the basement. After a passer-by rang the bell of the adjoining rectory, two priests hurriedly dressed and rushed into the church, saving the Host and Chalice at the altar, and vestments from the vestry. Firemen succeeded in saving a costly stained glass window in the rear of the church, and also managed to remove several pieces of statuary, but the altar was entirely destroyed.

On the evening of June 15, 1997, another major fire, believed to have started in the sacristy, devastated the century-old church. Although the fire was later determined to be unsuspicious, it nonetheless burned the slate roof and gutted the sanctuary. The organ and its pipes were ruined, and the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, donated to the Hispanic parishioners who succeeded the parish's Italian and Irish immigrants, was lost. Not destroyed were the 14 paintings of the Stations of the Cross that were out for restoration.

St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church - Bronx, New York (photo: Minuta Architecture, PLLC)  
The congregation was determined to rebuild their church exactly as before, but with a few improvements: the original high ceiling, covered in a previous renovation, was opened, and new stained-glass dormer windows were installed in the roof, depicting the Holy Family, SS. Peter and Paul and the life of St. Philip Neri. The baptistry on the right side of the sanctuary has a font and an immersion pool. Along with the outer church walls, the original stained-glass windows were saved, and the marble reredos, the pulpit, and statues were restored. After several years of reconstruction, the rebuilt 650-seat church was dedicated on January 6, 2002 by Edward Cardinal Egan.
           
  Schantz Organ, Op. 2200 (2001) at Church of St. Philip Neri - Bronx, New York (photo: Schantz Organ Company)
Schantz Organ Company
Orrville, Ohio – Opus 2200 (2001)
Electro-pneumatic action
Solid-State combination action
3 manuals, 46 stops, 34 ranks





Following the 1997 fire that destroyed the previous organ and most of the church, the Schantz Organ Company was commissioned to build a new organ. The encased organ is located in the transept, and features a movable three-manual drawknob console.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, unenclosed
16
  Violone [unit]
73
4
  Koppelflöte
61
8
  Principal
61
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Violone
1 1/3
  Mixture IV ranks
244
8
  Bourdon
61
 8
  Trumpet
61
4
  Octave
61
    Tremulant  
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen
61
2
  Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Voix Celeste [GG]
54
16
  Basson-Hautbois [unit]
73
8
  Flûte Traversière
61
 8
  Trompette [unit]
73
4
  Principal
61
8
  Hautbois
4
  Flûte Octaviante
61
4
  Clairon
2 2/3
  Nasard Harmonique
61
8
 
Voix Humaine
preparation
2
  Octavin
61
    Tremulant  
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
       

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Rohr Flute
61
8
  Cromorne
61
8
  Dolcan
61
    Tremulant  
8
  Dolcan Celeste [TC]
49
8
  Trumpet
GT
4
  Fugara
61
       
2
  Gemshorn
61
    Zimbelstern   
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Acoustic Bass
derived
 4
  Open Flute
32
  Resultant
derived
32
  Grand Cornet
derived
16
  Open Wood
32
16
  Double Trumpet [ext. GT]
12
16
  Violone
GT
16
  Basson
SW
16
  Subbass [unit]
56
8
  Trumpet
GT
8
  Octave
44
8
  Trompette
SW
8
  Violone
GT
4
  Clairon
SW
8
  Bass Flute
4
  Hautbois
SW
4
  Choralbass [ext. Octave]
       
           
  Casavant Frères Organ, Op. 2599 (1960) at Church of St. Philip Neri - Bronx, New York (photo: Casavant Frères Archives)
Casavant Frères, Limitée
St. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada – Opus 2599 (1960)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 45 stops, 50 ranks



In 1960, Casavant Frères built a new organ for St. Philip Neri Church. The main organ was located against the South and West walls of the South transept, and the Antiphonal organ was in the rear gallery. This organ and the church were destroyed by fire on June 15, 1997.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes, unenclosed
    Bogenwerk       Mittelwerk  
8
  Prinzipal
56
8
  Bordun
56
4
  Oktav
56
4
  Rohrflöte
56
2 2/3
  Rauschpfeife II ranks
112
2 2/3
  Nasat
56
1 1/3
  Mixtur IV ranks
224
2
  Blockflöte
56
       
1 3/5
  Terz
56
            Chimes [from previous organ]  
               
Positiv Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes
8
  Stillgedackt
56
1
  Sifflöte
56
4
  Spillflöte
56
4/5
  Terzian II ranks
112
2
  Gemshorn
56
1/4
  Zimbel III ranks
168
1 1/3
  Quintflöte
56
8
  Krummhorn
56

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Salicional
56
2
  Waldflöte
56
8
  Salicional Celeste [TC]
44
16
  Fagott [half-length]
56
8
  Rohrflöte
56
8
  Trompette
56
4
  Gemshorn
56
4
  Schalmei
56
4
  Nachthorn
56
    Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Gemshorn
32
 8
  Rohrbass
SW
16
  Gedacktpommer
32
4
  Koppelfloete
32
16
  Rohrbordun [ext. SW]
12
2 2/3
  Quartgedackt II ranks
64
8
  Prinzipal
32
16
  Fagott
SW
8
  Bordun
GT
8
  Fagott
SW
8
  Spitzfloete
32
4
  Fagott
SW
               
Antiphonal Organ – 56 notes (played normally on Positiv manual)
8
  Prinzipal
56
2 2/3
  Rauschpfeife II ranks
112
4
  Oktav
56
1 1/3
  Mixture IV ranks
224
               
Antiphonal Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Prinzipal
32
4
  Super Oktav
8
  Oktav [unit]
44
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal   Antiphonal to Great
    Antiphonal to Pedal   Swell to Positiv
    Swell to Pedal   Great to Positiv
    Positiv to Pedal   Antiphonal On
    Swell to Great   Positiv Off
    Positiv to Great   Cancel, Adjuster
               
Adjustable Combination Pistons
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Great stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 affecting Swell stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 affecting Positiv stops
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4 affecting Pedal stops (toe studs only)
    Pistons No. 1-2-3-4-5-6 Chancel Generals (duplicated by toe studs)
    Pistons No. 1-2 Antiphonal Generals
    Pistons No. 1-2 Tutti Generals (duplicated by toe studs)
               
Reversible Pistons (duplicated by toe studs)
    Great to Pedal   Antiphonal On
    Antiphonal to Pedal   Positiv Off
    Swell to Pedal   Full Organ I (transept division only)
    Positiv to Pedal   Full Organ II (transept + Antiph.)
               
Balanced Pedals
    Swell Expression          
    Crescendo (not affecting Antiphonal)  
               
Indicator Lights
    Wind       Full Organ II  
    Crescendo       Antiphonal On  
    Full Organ I       Positiv Off  
           
Unknown Builder
(1933)


It can be presumed that a replacement organ was installed after the Henry Erben organ was junked in 1933. No further information or specifications are available for this organ.
         
Henry Erben
New York City (1853)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops, 15 ranks


The original organ in the first St. Philip Neri Church was a second-hand instrument acquired from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rondout (now a part of Kingston), N.Y. This two-manual mechanical action organ was originally built in 1853 by Henry Erben of New York City; it was moved by Louis F. Mohr & Co., an organ service firm in the area. Mohr's files include the following specification (dated May 1916) in which stop names and manual and pedal compasses were typed. Handwritten entries state that the organ was "fr[om] St. Mary's RC, Rondout" and "Junked Oct 9-1933." Mohr also noted that the organ had a Kinetic blower installed. The Great Gamba was also written in by hand, perhaps indicating it was added at a later time (and possibly controlled by the now-unneeded Blower's Signal knob).
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason
56
4
  Night Horn
39
8
  Gamba [original?]
56
3
  Twelfth
56
8
  Clarabella
39
2
  Flageolet
56
8
  St. Diapason Bass
17
8
  Trumpet
56
4
  Principal
56
       

 

     

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
39
8
  Dulciana
39
8
  Open Diapason Bass
17
4
  Flute
39
8
  St. Diapason
39
4
  Violin
44
8
  St. Diapason Bass
17
8
  Hautboy
39
               
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Bourdon
25
       
               
Couplers &c
    Great and Swell   Tremolo
    Pedal and Great   [Blower's signal]
               
Pedal Movements
    Balanced Swell Pedal
    2 Combination Pedals on Great
    2 Combination Pedals on Swell
           
Sources:
     McDonnell, Claudia. "From the Ashes," Catholic New York (February 2002).
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications (May 1916) of organ in St. Philip Neri RC Church, Bronx. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Moss, Jordan. "St. Philip's 'Rises More Beautiful Than Ever'," Norwood News (Sep. 13-26, 2001).
     "Priests Save Church Relics," The New York Times (Dec. 5, 1912).
     Rohde, David. "From Charred Ruins, a Church Reborn," The New York Times (Jan. 5, 1998).
     St. Philip Neri web site: http://church.stphilipneribronx.org/
     Schantz Organ Company. Stoplist of Schantz Organ, Op. 2200
     Scheer, Stanley. Factory Specification of Casavant Frères Organ, Op. 2599, August 5, 1959.
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.
     van Gelder, Lawrence. "In Ashes of Gutted Bronx Church, Community Sees Rebirth," The New York Times (June 17, 1997).

Illustrations:
     Casavant Frères, Lté. Archives. Casavant organ, Op. 2599 (1960). Courtesy Stanley Scheer.
     Minuta Architecture, PLLC. Interior of present church.
     Schantz Organ Company. Case of Schantz organ, Op. 2200 (2001).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Exterior.