Church of the Holy Cross - New York City
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Church of the Holy Cross
(Roman Catholic)

329 West 42nd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
http://holycrossnyc.com


Organ Specifications:
III/29 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co, Op. 908-A (1941)
II/31 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 191 (1882)
• I/12s Hall & Labagh (1854)





Founded in 1852, the Church of the Holy Cross built a wodden church at the present location on West 42nd Street. In 1867, the church was struck by lightning and damaged by the resulting fire. An inspection of the church by architects and builders determined that the walls had not been properly constructed and were in danger of collapsing, so plans were made to build a new church.

Church of the Holy Cross - New York City  
   
The present Romanesque edifice, as completed in 1870 to designs of Henry Engelbert, is a spacious, cruciform building. The depth is 100 feet and the width 82 feet, expanding to 92 feet in the transepts. Over the intersection of the nave and transept rise a cupola, intended to light the sanctuary and nave. This is a lofty dome on a square base, gradually running into the octagon form, and finishing with a lantern semi-circular in the ceiling and 112 feet from the church-floor. The whole height from the street curb to the top of the cross surmounting the dome is 148 feet. A spacious interior and galleries on three sides provides seating for about 1,800 people. In 1885, the church was extended by 25 feet when Lawrence J. O'Connor designed and built an apse that contains a circular sanctuary with semi-dome, lighted by nine windows in the upper part.

For many years, Holy Cross was the pulpit of Father Francis P. Duffy, who served as chaplain to the primarily Irish-American 69th Regiment in World War I, and for whom Duffy Square, at Broadway and 46th Street, is named.
               
  Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 908 (1933) at Church of the Holy Cross - New York City
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Inc.
Boston, Mass. – Opus 908 (1933); Opus 908-A (1941)
Electro-pneumatic key and stop action
3 manuals, 25 registers, 29 ranks, 1,915 pipes







The Aeolian-Skinner organ in the rear gallery of the Church of the Holy Cross was installed in 1933. Aeolian-Skinner returned in 1934 to alter the casework, and in 1941 to add a set of chimes.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16
  Flute Conique
61
4
  Principal
61
8
  Diapason
61
    Grave Mixture II ranks
122
8
  Harmonic Flute
61
    Chimes [added 1941 as Op. 908-A]
8
  Gemshorn
61
       

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Geigen Diapason
73
16
 
Waldhorn
preparation
8
  Rohrflöte
73
8
  Trumpet
73
8
  Salicional
73
8
  Corno d'Amore
73
8
  Voix Celeste [TC]
61
8
  Vox Humana
73
8
  Aeoline
73
4
  Clarion
73
4
  Flute Triangulaire
73
    Tremolo  
    Mixture IV ranks
244
       

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Concert Flute
73
4
  Flute d'Amour
73
8
  Viola
73
8
  Clarinet
73
8
  Klein Erzahler
73
    Tremulant  
8
  Klein Erzahler Celeste [TC]
61
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
16
  Diapason
32
8
  Diapason [ext.]
12
16
  Bourdon
32
8
  Bourdon [ext.]
12
16
  Flute Conique
GT
16
  Waldhorn
SW
               
Previous organ in present building:

J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Op. 191 (1882)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 26 stops, 31 ranks


In 1882, the J.H. & C.S. Odell Company built a large two-manual organ for Holy Cross Church. The organ had a case of ash with decorated display pipes.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
58
4
  Flute Harmonique
58
8
  Open Diapason
58
2 2/3
  Twelfth
58
8
  Gamba
58
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Melodia [large scale]
58
    Mixture, 4 ranks
232
8
  Dolce
58
8
  Trumpet
58
4
  Principal
58
4
  Clarion
58

     

     
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
58
2
  Flageolet
58
8
  Geigen Principal
58
    Cornet, 3 ranks
174
8
  Salicional
58
8
  Cornopean
58
8
  Stopped Diapason
58
8
  Oboe
58
4
  Flute
58
    Tremulant  
4
  Fugara
58
       

     

     
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Double Open Diapason
30
8
  Violoncello
30
16
  Bourdon
30
16
  Trombone
30
               
Couplers
    Pedal to Great       Swell to Great  
    Pedal to Swell          
               
Combinations
1.
  Full Great
2.
  Full Great less Double Open, Trumpet and Clarion
3.
  Great Gamba, Melodia, Dolce, Principal
4.
  Full Swell
5.
  Swell Salicional, Stopped Diapason, Flute
6.
  Full Pedal
7.
  Pedal Bourdon, Violoncello
8.
  Bellows Signal
               
Pedal Movements
    Balance Swell Pedal          
               
Hall & Labagh
New York City (1854)
Mechanical action
1 manual, 12 stops


The American Musical Directory of 1861 shows that the organ in this church had "1 banks key, 12 stops, 2 octaves pedals" and was "Built by Hall & Labagh, in 1854." This organ was destroyed when the church burned after being struck by lightning in 1867. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     Aeolian-Skinner Archives web site: http://aeolian-skinner.110mb.com/
     American Musical Directory. New York: Thomas Hutchinson, 1861.
     Church of the Holy Cross web site: http://holycrossnyc.com
     "Dedication of the Catholic Church of the Holy Cross—Sermon by the Very Rev. Dr. Starrs, V.G.," The New York Times (May 9, 1870).
     Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List (New Revised Edition). Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.

Illustrations:
     ChurchCrawler web site. Exterior, and interior with organ case.