Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
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Church of the Holy Apostles
(Episcopal)

296 Ninth Avenue at 28th Street
New York, N.Y. 10011
http://www.holyapostlesnyc.org/


Organ Specifications:
III/37 J.J. van den Heuvel Orgelbouw (1994); installed (1996)
IV/43 Casavant Frères, Op. 1446 (1931)
III/18 A.B. Felgemaker Co., Op. 1247 (1917)
III/33 George Jardine (1853)
• II/ Levi U. Stuart (1867)
• I/ Levi U. Stuart (1859)
• II/18 Hall & Labagh (1847)


The prominent octagonal spire of the Church of the Holy Apostles is a welcoming landmark among the industrial buildings and red brick towers in the far western blocks of Chelsea. Reputedly a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church has continued its embrace of the unwelcome by starting a soup kitchen in 1982, now the largest in New York City, which serves up to 1000 meals each weekday to the homeless and downtrodden. In 1973, the socially-active and diverse congregation helped establish Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, a gay and lesbian synagogue which still uses Holy Apostles for its Friday evening service. In 1977, the first woman priest in the New York diocese was ordained at Holy Apostles. The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest to be consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church, celebrated and preached on Gay Pride Sunday 2005.

Established in 1836 as a Sunday School, the present building was constructed from 1846-48 to designs of Minard Lefever. In 1853, the Italianate-style structure was extended to the east by 24 feet to provide a chancel, and in 1858 the transepts were added by Richard Upjohn & Son. The wooden spire was covered with slate and the belfry clad in copper in 1908. William Jay Bolton, the noted artist who created the stained glass windows in Brooklyn's Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, fabricated the Tuscan-hued stained glass windows, several of which survived the devastating fire in 1991 that gutted the church interior and destroyed part of the roof and the organ. Following the fire, the congregation decided to rebuild the nave as a flexible space without pews so that it could be used for the soup kitchen. The Church of the Holy Apostles was designated a landmark in 1966 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.
             
  J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
J.J. van den Heuvel – Orgelbouw
Dordrecht, The Netherlands (1994)
Moved by Manuel Rosales Organ Builders, Inc. (1996)
Mechanical key action
Electric stop action
3 manuals, 33 registers, 29 stops, 37 ranks



The organ in Holy Apostles Church was originally built in 1994 for the salon of Castle Shiloah, the residence of Joseph and Marla Mooibroek in Fairview, Texas. In 1996, the castle and organ were offered for sale. Holy Apostles acquired the organ to replace the previous four-manual Casavant Frères organ that had been destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1990. The organ was moved by Manuel Rosales Organ Builders, Inc., of Los Angeles, California.

The Dutch Baroque-style case is made of African Mahogany with hand carvings of French Linden. It is an instrument that tonally is in the French early Romantic style and features a variety of unusual tonal colors. Located in the north transept, the organ has 29 stops distributed over three manuals and pedals, and over 2,400 pipes.
               
Grand Orgue (Manual I) – 61 notes
16
  Bourdon 
61
2
  Doublette
61
8
  Montre
61
    Plein-jeu III-V ranks
?
8
  Flûte a cheminée
61
    Cornet I-V ranks (MC)
?
8
  Flûte harmonique
61
8
  Trompette
61
4
  Prestant
61

 

  Tremolo  
               
Positif (Manual II) – 61 notes, expressif
8
  Bourdon
61
1
  Piccolo
61
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Clarinette
61
8
  Unda Maris
61
8
  Trumpet Royal (horizontal)
61
4
  Flûte à fuseau
61
    Tremolo  
2
  Flageolet
61
    Chimes  
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
    Zimbelstern  
               
Récit (Manual III) – 61 notes, expressif
8
  Flûte traversière
61
2
  Octavin
61
8
  Viole de Gambe
61
8
  Basson-Hautbois
61
8
  Voix céleste
61
8
  Voix humaine
61
4
  Flûte octaviante
61
    Tremolo  
               
Pédale – 32 notes
32
  Bourdon
digital
8
  Violoncelle
32
    [blank knob]  
16
  Basson
32
16
  Soubasse (1-24 from G.O.)
12
4
  Chalumeau 
32
8
  Flûte
32
       
               
Couplers
    Grand Orgue – Pédale   Positif – Grand Orgue
    Positif – Pédale   Récit – Grand Orgue
    Récit – Pédale   Récit – Positif
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Generals 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 (1-6 thumb & toe; 7-15 thumb only)
    Sequencer UP (thumb & toe)
    Sequencer DOWN (thumb)
               
Expression
    Balanced Pedal – Positif      
    Balanced Pedal – Récit      
    Crescendo Pedal      
               
J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)

J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
J.J. van den Heuvel organ (1994) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
         
Casavant Frères, Limitée
St. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada – Opus 1446 (1931)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 46 registers, 39 stops, 43 ranks



In 1931, a new four-manual and pedal organ was built at a cost of $21,195 by Casavant Frères of Québec. As described in the Casavant Factory Specifications (Mar. 30, 1931), the organ had electro-pneumatic action and a detached console with organist's bench, but no case, screen or display pipes. Dr. T. Tertius Noble, organist of St. Thomas Church, played the dedicatory recital on Monday, February 29, 1932. The new organ was a success, eliciting words of praise from notable organists including Lynnwood Farnam, Seth Bingham, Dr. David McKay Williams, and Clarence Dickinson. Unfortunately, the Casavant organ eventually fell into disrepair, losing its console and much of the Gallery Antiphonal. In 1991, a devastating fire destroyed the church interior, and damaged the organ with smoke, water, and fallen plaster.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Bourdon *
49
    Grave Mixture II ranks
122
8
  First Diapason
61
8
  Tuba (enc. in CH)
61
8
  Second Diapason
61
    Chimes
EC
8
  Hohl Flöte
61
8
  Celesta
CH
4
  Principal
61
4
  Celesta
CH
4
  Harmonic Flute
61
   
* shares bottom octave of Pedal Bourdon
 
     
 
     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Contra Salicional
73
    Mixture III ranks
183
8
  Diapason
73
16
  Double Trumpet
73
8
  Rohr Flute
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Voix Celeste (TC)
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
4
  Violina
73
4
  Clarion
73
4
  Flute Triangulaire
73
 
  Tremulant  
 
     
 
     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Gamba
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Concert Flute
73
8
 
Celesta Sub (TC)
8
  Dulciana
73
4
 
Celesta
61 bars
4
  Flauto d'Amore
73
  Tremulant  
2 2/3
  Nazard
73
     
               
Antiphonal Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Stentorphone
73
8
  Tuba Mirabilis
73
8
  Gross Flute
73
8
  French Horn
73
4
  Principal
73
    Tremulant  
               
Echo Organ (Manual IV) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Cor de Nuit
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Vox Angelica II ranks
146
    Tremulant  
4
  Fernfloete
73
 
 
Chimes
25 tubes
 
     
 
     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
8
  Gedeckt (fr. 16' Bourdon)
16
  Diapason
44
4
  Flute (fr. 16' Bourdon)
16
  Bourdon
56
16
  Trombone
32
16
  Salicional
SW
8
  Trumpet
SW
8
  Octave (fr. 16' Diapason)
    Chimes
EC
8
  Gedeckt (fr. 16' Bourdon)
       
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Echo to Choir 8'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Echo 8'
    Echo to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Echo 8'
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell to Swell 4', 16'
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir to Choir 4', 16'
    Echo to Great 16', 8', 4'   Echo to Echo 4', 16'
    Echo to Swell 8'   All Swells
               
Adjustable Combinations
   
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5 (thumb)
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Echo-Antiphonal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4 (thumb & foot)
Entire Organ Pistons 1-2-3 (foot)
  Adjuster
  General Cancel
               
Reversibles
    Swell to Pedal (thumb)   Echo to Pedal (thumb)
    Great to Pedal (thumb)   Sforzando (foot)
    Choir to Pedal (thumb)    
               
Balanced Pedals
    Swell Expression   Echo-Antiphonal Expression
    Choir Expression   Crescendo
         
A. B. Felgemaker Co.
Erie, Penn. – Opus 1247 (1917)
Tubular-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 20 registers, 18 stops, 18 ranks



In 1917, Archer Gibson, the private organist of Mr. Charles M. Schwab, was engaged to play for a wedding at Holy Apostles. Gibson found the "old rattle-bang" Jardine organ to be unsatisfactory and complained to the Rector. With Gibson's assistance, the Carnegie Fund was convinced to provide approximately half the $5000 cost of a new organ, which was built by the A.B. Felgemaker Co. of Erie, Pennsylvania. The three-manual and pedal organ had tubular-pneumatic action, but as the Choir was only prepared for, the organ functioned as a modest two-manual instrument of eighteen ranks. In less than ten years, however, the Felgemaker organ began to fail, and an appeal sought funds to repair and complete the instrument. Money was raised toward that goal, but ultimately, it seemed best to build an entirely new organ. The Felgemaker was sold for $500 to Grace Church on City Island.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
73
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
8
  Dulciana
73
4
  Octave
73
8
  Viola da Gamba
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Doppel Floete
73
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
73
8
  Aeoline
73
8
  Violin Diapason
73
4
  Flute Harmonic
73
8
  Stopped Diapason
73
8
  Oboe
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Voix Celeste (TC)
61
       
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
    (console preparation only)      
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
16
  Bourdon
42
8
  Flute (fr. 16' Bourdon)
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Swell 4', 16'
    Swell to Pedal 8'   Great Separation
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Swell Separation
    Great to Great 4', 16'   All Couplers "Off"
               
Adjustable Combinations
    Four Combinations for Great & Pedal Organs
    Five Combinations for Swell & Pedal Organs
               
Pedal Movements
    Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Swell Pedal
    Balanced Crescendo, Diminuendo, & Full Organ Pedal
               
Accessories
    Tremolo   Organist's Bench
    Wind Indicator   Electric Blower
    Crescendo Indicator   Electric Generator
             
  Geo. Jardine Organ (1853) at Church of the Holy Apostles - New York City (Episcopal Diocese of New York Archives)
   
George Jardine
New York City (1853)
Mechanical action
3 manuals, 28 stops, 33 ranks



This organ was originally built for the Church of the Annunciation at Sixth Avenue and West Fourteenth Street. When that church was dissolved in 1895, the organ was given to the Church of the Holy Apostles. William H. Davis & Son moved and reinstalled the organ, taking the L.U. Stuart organ in trade for an allowance of $300. It is not known if the Jardine organ was altered by Davis for Church of the Holy Apostles. The Jardine organ was powered by a gas engine and was installed in the chancel.

The gift of the organ to Holy Apostles had three conditions attached:

  1. Removal was to be at the expense of the recipient;
  2. Mr. A. A. Wild, the organist of Annunciation, was to accompany the organ and become the organist of the Church of the Holy Apostles; and
  3. An appropriate brass plate was to be placed on the organ case, recording the gift and the twenty-two years of Mr. Wild's services at the Church of the Annunciation.
Thus, it would seem that Sheldon W. Ball, who had served as Holy Apostles' organist for five years, was terminated in order to accept the Jardine organ.

The following specifications are from The Organ, Its History and Construction (1870) by Edward J. Hopkins.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 54 notes
16
  Double Diapason
54
2 2/3
  Twelfth
54
8
  Open Diapason
54
2
  Fifteenth
54
8
  Stopped Diapason
54
    Sesquialtera, 4 ranks
216
8
  Melodia
54
8
  Trumpet
54
4
  Principal
54
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 54 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
54
2
  Fifteenth
54
8
  Open Diapason
54
    Mixture, 3 ranks
162
8
  Stopped Diapason
54
8
  Trumpet
54
8
  Dulciana
54
8
  Oboe
54
4
  Principal
54
4
  Clarion
54
               
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 54 notes
8
  Open Diapason
54
4
  Flute
54
8
  Viola di Gamba
54
8
  Clarinet, treble
42
8
  Stopped Diapason
54
8
  Bassoon, bass
12
4
  Principal
54
       
               
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Open Diapason
25
8
  Octave
25
16
  Bourdon
25
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Great   Great to Pedal
    Swell Octave to Great   Choir to Pedal
    Swell to Choir   Swell to Pedal
    Choir to Great   Pedal Organ Octave
    Choir Sub-octave to Great    
             
Levi U. Stuart
New York City (1867)
Mechanical action
2 manuals


In 1867, the Hall & Labagh organ in the gallery and the Levi U. Stuart organ in the chancel were sold. A new two-manual and pedal organ, built by Levi U. Stuart, was installed in the chancel. The Stuart organ was subsequently rebuilt by L.C. Harrison of New York, as his Op. 92, c.1886.

Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Levi U. Stuart
New York City (1859)
Mechanical action
1 manual


In 1859, Holy Apostles established a mission, known as "The Chapel of the Free Gospel." The chapel, located nearby on West Twenty-ninth Street, was open to poor families who would not be able to attend a church with rented pews. Shortly before Christmas of 1859, a small organ costing $500 was installed. The mission did not flourish, perhaps because of its close proximity to the mother church, and the building was sold in 1866. The small organ was moved to Holy Apostles church and installed in the chancel.

Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
             
Hall & Labagh
New York City (1847)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 18 stops


The original organ at the Church of the Holy Apostles was built in 1847 by Hall & Labagh of New York City. The American Musical Directory of 1861 shows that this organ had "two banks keys, 18 stops, 2 octaves pedals," while another states that it had "five Great stops, three Swell stops, and one octave in the pedal." Located in the rear gallery, the organ cost $1,200 and was pronounced "very sweet in tone."

Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
             
Sources:
     American Musical Directory. New York: Thomas Hutchinson, 1861.
     The American Organist (June 1932). Courtesy Jeff Scofield.
     Blanchard, Homer D. "The Organ in the United States: A Study in Design", The Bicentennial Tracker. Richmond: Organ Historical Society, Inc., 1976.
     Church of the Holy Apostles web site: http://www.holyapostlesnyc.org/
     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.
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Episcopal Diocese of New York Archives; Wayne H. Kempton, Archivist.
     Hopkins, Edward J. The Organ, Its History and Construction. London: Robert Cocks & Co. 1870.
     Laufman, Alan Miller. "The Van den Heuvel organ at the Holy Apostles Church, New York City," The Northeast Organist (Jan./Feb. 1997).
     Ochse, Orpha. "A Glimpse of the 1860s," The American Organist (Nov. 1969).
     Ogasapian, John. Organ Building in New York City: 1700-1900. Braintree: The Organ Literature Foundation, 1977.
     Scheer, Stanley. Factory Specifications (Mar. 30, 1931) of Casavant Frères Organ, Op. 1446.
     Tellers, Aaron (Tellers Organ Company). Specifications of A. B. Fegelmaker Organ, Op. 1247 (1917).
     Trupiano, Larry. Specifications of A. B. Fegelmaker Organ, Opus 1247 (1917).
     J.J. van den Heuvel web site: http://vandenheuvel-orgelbouw.nl/

Illustrations:
     Episcopal Diocese of New York Archives. 1880 interior of church showing George Jardine organ.
     Lawson, Steven E. Church interior; J.J. van den Heuvel Organ (1994).