Church of the Epiphany (Roman Catholic) - New York City

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Church of the Epiphany
(Roman Catholic)

373 Second Avenue at 22nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10010
http://epiphanychurchnyc.org/

Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1967):
III/39 Delaware Organ Company (1967)
First building (1868-burned 1963):
• Müller & Abel (ca.1892)
II/16 H.C. Stuart (1855)


1870 Building of the Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany - New York City (The Architectural Record, May 1910)  
Original Building (1868-1963)  
The Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany of Our Lord was founded in 1868. Its first church was erected on the site of Rose Hill, the mansion of Horatio Gates, the Revolutionary War general who won the Battle of Saratoga, arguably the most important victory of the war. Epiphany's first building, designed in the Lombardic style by Napoleon Le Brun, was built in 1869-70 at a cost of $115,000. Built of Newark brown stone with facings of white Ohio stone, the edifice measured 75 feet wide at the front by 145 feet long and 77 feet high. Three entrances were at the front, parallel to Second Avenue, over which was extended a stone portico with marble pillars on either side. At the northern end of the facade was a tower and steeple rising to the height of 115 feet. Inside, the church provided seating for 1,700 and had galleries which extended from the front to within about twenty feet of the sanctuary rail, the intermediate space being open. Only a block north of the church was the busy 23rd Street station of the Second Avenue El, which curved noisily onto 23rd Street before continuing south down First Avenue. After the El was dismantled in wartime 1942, the church enjoyed a more peaceful surrounding for two decades, until December 20, 1963, when a five-alarm fire destroyed the 95-year-old building.

A new church was built from 1965-67 to designs by Belfatto & Pavarini of New York City. Termed "post-conciliar" by a former priest, the Modernist building is contemporary and incorporates reforms sanctioned by the Vatican II Council. The building is constructed of steel-gray brick, inside and out, and has gently curving walls. A tower with two walls of unequal height overlooks a plaza at the entrance. Inside, a plain, free-standing altar is surrounded on three sides by pews, allowing the priest to face the congregation. A white ceiling, slate floor and rectangular metal lighting fixtures contrast with the previous, more traditional building. Space for the choir and organ console are provided in the area to the left of the altar, as there are no galleries. The present church was dedicated by Cardinal Spellman on May 14, 1967.

The Epiphany Peace Garden in the plaza is a memorial to the parishioners, neighbors and local police and firefighters who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
               
  Delaware Organ (1967) at the Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Delaware Organ Company, Inc.
Tonawanda, N.Y. (1967)
Electro-pneumatic stop action
3 manuals, 33 registers, 27 stops, 39 ranks




The Delaware organ is installed on a shelf to the left side of the sanctuary, with the three-manual stop-key console below on the main floor of the church.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Pommer
61
8
  Trompete
61
8
  Prinzipal
61
  Swell to Great 16'
8
  Gedeckt
61
  Swell to Great 8'
4
  Oktav
61
  Swell to Great 4'  
2
  Super Oktav
61
  Positiv to Great 16'  
1 1/3
  Mixture IV ranks
244
  Positiv to Great 8'  

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Rohrflöte
61
8
  Fagott
61
8
  Viola
61
  Tremulant
8
  Viola Celeste (TC)
49
  Swell 16'
4
  Gemshorn
61
 
  Unison Off  
2
  Spitzprinzipal
61
  Swell 4'  
1/2
  Zimbel III ranks
183
     

     

     
Positiv Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Gedeckt
61
8
  Krummhorn
61
4
  Koppelflöte
61
  Tremulant
2
  Prinzipal
61
  Positiv 16'
2 2/3
  Sesquialtera II ranks (TC)
98
    Swell to Positiv 16'  
1 1/3
  Quinte
61
    Swell to Positiv 8'  
2/3
  Scharf IV ranks
244
    Swell to Positiv 4'  
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Prinzipal
32
2
  Mixtur IV ranks
128
16
  Subbass
56
16
  Posaune
56
16
  Pommer
GT
8
  Trompete (fr. Posaune)
8
  Prinzipal
32
4
  Klarine (fr. Posaune)
8
  Gedeckt (fr. Subbass)
  Great to Pedal 8'
4
  Choral Bass
44
  Swell to Pedal 8'
4
  Flöte (fr. Subbass)
  Swell to Pedal 4'  
2
  Oktav (fr. Choral Bass)
  Positiv to Pedal 8'  
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Positiv Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (toe)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)
               
Reversibles
    Great to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Positiv to Pedal (thumb & toe)
    Swell to Pedal (thumb & toe)   Tutti (thumb & toe)
               
Accessories
    Balanced Swell Pedal   Tutti Indicator Light
    Crescendo Pedal   Crescendo Indicator Light
        Current Indicator Light
               

Delaware Organ (1967) at the Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)

 

Delaware Organ (1967) at the Roman Catholic Church of the Epiphany - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)

               
Known organ in previous building at same location:

Müller & Abel
New York City (ca.1892)
3? manuals


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Known organ in previous building at same location:

H.C. Stuart

New York City (1855)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 16 stops


The following specification was recorded by F.R. Webber, whose "Organ Scrapbooks" are in the possession of The Organ Historical Society Archives in Princeton, N.J. Since this organ is dated earlier than the founding of the church, it may have been a second-hand instrument.

Webber included these comments:
The Dulciana was of large scale, about a Geigen.
Swell box very small – pipes of TC and upward.
Wood Pedal pipes had adjustable languids.
Name of H.C. Stuart penciled on swell box and written in pencil on chest.

Organ dismantled 23 Feb., 1953
Church destroyed by fire 20 Dec., 1963
               
Great Organ (Manual I)
16
  Bourdon  
4?
  Flute  
8
  Diapason  
  Mixture  
8
  Viola  
8
  Trumpet  
8?
  Flute          

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II), enclosed
8
  Diapason  
4
  Flute  
8
  Dulciana  
2
  Fifteenth  
4
  Principal  
8
  Oboe  
               
Pedal Organ
16
  Diapason (16" x 18" scale)  
8
  Violoncello?  
16
  Bourdon          
               
Sources:
     "Burned Church Will Be Rebuilt," The New York Times (Dec. 22, 1963).
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     "East Side Church is Ruined by Fire," The New York Times (Dec. 21, 1963).
     "A New Catholic Church," The New York Times (Apr. 4, 1870).
     "The New Catholic Church of the Epiphany to be Dedication on Sunday," The New York Times (Mar. 30, 1870).
     "Services at the New Church of the Epiphany," The New York Times (Apr. 25, 1870).
     Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.
     "Spellman Dedicates Rebuilt Church," The New York Times (May 15, 1967).
     Webber, F.R. "Organ scrapbook" at Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of H.C. Stuart organ (1855). Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.

Illustrations:
     The Architectural Record (Vol. XXVII, No. 5, May 1910). Exterior (1910).
     Lawson, Steven E. Cxterior; interior; Delaware Organ (1967).