New York Society for Ethical Culture - New York City
New York Society for Ethical Culture

2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
New York, N.Y. 10023
http://www.nysec.org


Organ Specifications:
• Rodgers Instruments electronic (c. 2003)
III/41 Wicks Organ Company, Op. 3844 (1957)
III/22 M.P. Möller, Inc., Op. 6291 (1935)
• IV/15 Hope-Jones Organ Co./Wurlitzer Organ Co. (1910)


The New York Society for Ethical Culture was founded by Dr. Felix Adler (1851-1933), a native of Alzey, Germany, who had immigrated to the U.S. when his father, Samuel L. Adler, took over as the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, where he became one of the most influential figures in Reform Judaism. In 1876, the young Felix Adler proposed a new religious movement that would work toward the advancement of social justice for all. He suggested that the movement should further the principles of ethics among adults and children through education and that members of the Society should express their religious consciences in moral and humane actions. These ideas remain the cornerstones of the philosophy of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, which was incorporated on February 21, 1877.

New York Society for Ethical Culture - New York City  
Ethical Culture School (c.1908)  
In adhering to its social and moral imperatives, the Society quickly initiated two major projects in 1877. First was the establishment of the District Nursing Service, a precursor of the Visiting Nurse Service, which is still active today. The second project was the founding of a free kindergarten for the children of working people, and in 1880 the Workingman's School was chartered. In 1895, the School was reorganized, becoming The Ethical Culture Schools. In 1899, the society purchased the entire blockfront on Central Park West, from 63rd to 64th Streets. The present school, on the northwest corner of Central Park West and 63rd Street, opened in 1904 in a brick and limestone building designed by Carrère & Hastings, with Robert D. Kohn as associate architect.

  New York Society for Ethical Culture - New York City
In 1909, the society began to build a meeting house on the southwest corner of Central Park West and 64th Street. Robert D. Kohn designed the austere cube-shaped building that is faced with Indiana limestone and has a facade that opens onto 64th Street. Dedicated in October 1910, the meeting house contains an 1,200-seat auditorium, above which are two floors with Sunday school rooms, meeting rooms, and a library. In 2003, the auditorium was renovated and the pipe organ was removed to provide a more seating in the gallery. The auditorium and other spaces within the building are made available for social, political, cultural and other uses consistent with the Ethical Culture message.
               
Rodgers Instruments LLC
Hillsboro, Ore. (c. 2003)
Solid-state key, stop and combination action


After the 1957 Wicks organ was removed, a digital organ by Rodgers Instruments was installed. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
               
  Wicks Organ, Op. 3844 (1957) in the New York Society for Ethical Culture - New York City
Wicks Organ Company
Highland, Ill. – Opus 3844 (1957)
Direct-Electric ® action
3 manuals, 49 stops, 41 ranks


A new three-manual organ was built by the Wicks Organ Company and installed in 1957. The Swell and Choir Organs were enclosed in two free-standing expression chambers at the far sides of the gallery, while the unenclosed Great Organ was located in front of the center gallery window. Wicks provided a detached three-manual drawknob console. In 2003, the auditorium was renovated, and this organ was removed to provide additional seating.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, exposed
16
  Quintaton
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Principal
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
8
  Gamba
CH
2
  Fifteenth
61
8
  Harmonique Flute
61
    Fourniture IV ranks
244
8
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Trumpet
SW

 

     

 

     
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon
68
2
  Piccolo
68
8
  English Diapason [unit]
80
    Plein Jeu IV ranks
244
8
  Rohrflöte
68
16
  Contra Fagotto
68
8
  Salicional
68
8
  Trumpet
80
8
  Voix Celeste (GG)
56
8
  Oboe
68
4
  Geigen
4
  Clarion
4
  Flauto Dolce
68
    Tremulant  

     

     
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Dulciana
68
4
  Copula
68
8
  Geigen Diapason
80
2 2/3
  Nazard
61
8
  Konzertflöte
68
2
  Flautino
61
8
 
Flute Celeste
preparation
1 3/5
  Tierce
61
8
  Gamba
68
8
  Clarinet
68
8
  Erzähler
68
8
 
English Horn
preparation
8
  Erzähler Celeste (GG)
56
    Tremulant  
4
  Geigen Octave (fr. 8')
       
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Resultant
derived
8
  Rohrflöte
SW
16
  Principal
32
4
  Octave
32
16
  Bourdon
44
4
  Rohrflöte
SW
16
  Lieblich Gedeckt
SW
16
  Bombard
56
16
  Dulciana
CH
8
  Bombard (fr. 16')
8
  Principal
32
8
  Trumpet
SW
8
  Bourdon (fr. 16')
4
  Bombard (fr. 16')
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Swell 8'
    Great to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
    Choir to Pedal 8', 4'   Swell to Swell 16', 4', Unison Silent
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Great to Great 16', 4', Unison Silent
    Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'   Choir to Choir 16', 4', Unison Silent
               
Combination Pistons
   
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6, 0 (thumb) Pedal to Great Independents On/Off
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6, 0 (thumb) Pedal to Swell Independents On/Off
Choir Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6, 0 (thumb) Pedal to Choir Independents On/Off
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb & toe)  
Master Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6, 0 (thumb)  
               
Accessories
    Crescendo Pedal and Indicator   Great to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Swell Expression Pedal   Swell to Pedal Reversible
    Balanced Great-Choir Exp. Pedal   Sforzando Piston and Indicator
               
M.P. Möller, Inc.
Hagerstown, Md. – Opus 6291 (1935)
Electro-pneumatic action
3 manuals, 122 registers, 19 stops, 22 ranks


After twenty-five years of service, the 1910 Hope-Jones/Wurlitzer organ was rebuilt and enlarged by M.P. Möller in 1935. Specifications were drawn up by the Rev. Tyler Turner, an Episcopal clergyman and organ designer. Möller provided new pipework, reconfigured existing pipes, and installed new chests. The tile walls separating the two chambers in the front of the auditorium were removed, allowing one large chamber. Möller also lowered the wind pressure and built a new stop-key console mechanism within the shell of the original. The specifications that follow appeared in The American Organist (Jan. 1936), but it is known that stop names were often simplified by T. Scott Buhrman, editor.
               
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Geigen  
4
  Concert Flute  
16
  Gemshorn  
4
  Gemshorn  
8
  Phonon  
4
  Muted Viole  
8
  Diapason 1  
3 1/5
  Gemshorn  
8
  Diapason 2  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Geigen  
2 2/3
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Horn Diapason  
2
  Geigen  
8
  Rohrfloete  
2
  Horn Diapason  
8
  Concert Flute  
2
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Muted Viole  
2
  Muted Viole  
8
  Gemshorn  
2
  Gemshorn  
5 1/3
  Rohrfloete       Harmonics IV ranks  
4
  Diapason 2  
16
  Tromba  
4
  Geigen  
8
  Tromba  
4
  Horn Diapason  
4
  Tromba  
4
  Rohrfloete          
               
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Geigen  
4
  Geigen  
16
  Concert Flute  
4
  Horn Diapason  
8
  Diapason 2  
4
  Concert Flute  
8
  Geigen  
4
  Gemshorn  
8
  Horn Diapason  
4
  Viole  
8
  Rohrfloete  
4
  Viole Celeste  
8
  Concert Flute  
2 2/3
  Concert Flute  
8
  Gemshorn  
2
  Horn Diapason  
8
  Viole  
2
  Gemshorn  
8
  Muted Viole       Harmonics IV ranks  
8
  Viole Celeste  
8
  Cornopean  
8
  Unda Maris  
8
  Vox Humana  
5 1/3
  Muted Viole  
4
  Cornopean  

     

     
Orchestral Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Geigen  
4
  Rohrfloete  
16
  Gemshorn  
4
  Concert Flute  
16
  Muted Viole (TC)  
4
  Gemshorn  
8
  Diapason 1  
4
  Muted Viole  
8
  Geigen  
4
  Unda Maris  
8
  Horn Diapason  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Rohrfloete  
2 2/3
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Concert Flute  
2
  Geigen  
8
  Gemshorn  
2
  Rohrfloete  
8
  Viole  
2
  Gemshorn  
8
  Muted Viole  
2
  Muted Viole  
8
  Viole Celeste       Harmonic IV ranks  
8
  Unda Maris  
8
  Cornopean  
5 1/3
  Gemshorn  
8
  Vox Humana  
4
  Diapason 2  
4
  Cornopean  
4
  Geigen          
               
Solo Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8
  Phonon  
8
  Tromba  
8
  Tibia  
4
  Tromba  
16
  Tromba          
               
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32
  Acoustic Bass  
8
  Rohrfloete  
32
  Dolce  
8
  Concert Flute  
16
  Phonon  
8
  Gemshorn  
16
  Geigen  
5 1/3
  Diapason 2  
16
  Tibia  
5 1/3
  Muted Viole  
16
  Concert Flute  
4
  Diapason 1  
16
  Gedeckt  
4
  Diapason 2  
16
  Gemshorn  
4
  Gemshorn  
16
  Viole       Mixture VI ranks  
10 2/3
  Gemshorn  
16
  Tromba  
8
  Phonon  
8
  Tromba  
8
  Diapason 1  
8
  Cornopean  
8
  Diapason 2  
4
  Tromba  
8
  Geigen  
4
  Cornopean  
8
  Tibia          
               
Couplers
    Great to Pedal 8'   Swell to Orchestral 16', 8', 4'
    Swell to Pedal 8', 4'   Great to Solo 8'
    Orchestral to Pedal 8'   Swell 16', 4', Unison Off
    Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'   Orchestral 16', 4', Unison Off
    Orchestral to Great 16', 8', 4'   Solo 16', 4', Unison Off
               
Combination Pistons "All combons control the couplers of their respective divisions; manual combons control Pedal on second touch."
   
Great Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb)
Swell Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb)
Orchestral Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb)
Solo Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (thumb)
Pedal Organ Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (toe?)
General Pistons 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 (thumb)
               
Crescendos
    Balanced Chamber A Expresion Pedal    
    Balanced Chamber B Expression Pedal    
    Register Crescendo Pedal    
         
Stop Analysis
     
Pipes
8
  Diapason 1
61
8
  Diapason 2
85
16
  Violone–Geigen
97
8
  Horn Diapason
85
8
  Phonon
73
16
  Tibia
85
16
  Rohrfloete
97
16
  Concert Flute
97
16
  Gedeckt
32
16
  Viole d'Orchestre
85
8
  Muted Viole
85
8
  Viole Celeste
73
16
  Gemshorn
97
8
  Unda Maris (TC)
61
2 2/3
  Twelfth
61
    Harmonics IV ranks
244
16
  Tromba
85
8
  Cornopean
85
8
  Vox Humana
    61
   
Total
1649
    Tremulant  
               
Wurlitzer Organ Company
North Tonawanda, N.Y. (1910)
Electro-pneumatic action
4 manuals, 15 ranks


In January 1910, the contract for the original organ in the new building of the New York Society for Ethical Culture was awarded to the Hope-Jones Organ Company of Elmira, N.Y. The organ was to have four manuals and fifteen ranks and would cost $10,500. English-born Robert Hope-Jones (1859-1914) was known for the "Hope-Jones Unit Organ," and had built or rebuilt over 30 organs since his arrival in the US, including the famous organ built in 1908 for the Auditorium of Ocean Grove, N.J.. Despite having six signed contracts in hand, Hope-Jones was bankrupt, and in May 1910, the company (including the six contracts) was sold to The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. for $15,800. and the assets were moved to Wurlitzer's plant in North Tonawanda, N.Y. Wurlitzer also hired Hope-Jones, but with an ironclad agreement that his name or talents could not be used to benefit another firm. The first instrument built in the North Tonawanda factory was the organ for the Society for Ethical Cultural, completed in October 1910.

The organ was installed in three chambers. The Foundation chamber, containing the Diapason Phonon and Tibia Clausa, was installed in the front of the auditorium at the extreme right. Adjacent to it was the Reed chamber that contained the Tuba. Both of these chambers spoke through a tone opening measuring 7 feet by 12 feet. Between the opening and the front of the Foundation shades were the 44 pipes of the Pedal Violone Diapason. The Swell chamber was located at the rear of the auditorium, about 70 feet from the other two and 70 feet above the main floor of the auditorium. This chamber was known to contain four ranks of keen strings, a Rohrfloete, Clarinet and Orchestral Oboe. The organ was winded by a 20 h.p. blower that provided 25 inches of pressure. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
               
Sources:
     The American Organist (April 1960). Specification of Wicks Organ, Op. 3844 (1957).
     The City Review website: http://www.thecityreview.com/uws/cpw/64w2.html
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     "Ethical Society Opens New Home," The New York Times (Oct. 24, 1910).
     Gray, Christopher. "Meeting House of the Society for Ethical Culture", New York Streetscapes: Tales of Manhattan's Significant Buildings and Landmarks. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2003.
     Junchen, David L., compiled and edited by Jeff Weiler. The WurliTzer Pipe Organ – An Illustrated History. Indianapolis: The American Theatre Organ Society, 2005.
     "New Home for Ethical Culture Society Imposing Structure Facing Central Park," The New York Times (Aug. 15, 1909).
     New York Society for Ethical Culture website: http://www.nysec.org
     Trupiano, Larry. Factory Specification of Wicks Organ, Op. 3844 (1957).
     Turner, Tyler. "Rebuilding a Unit Organ," The American Organist (May 1936):13-15. Specification of M.P. Möller Organ, Op. 6291 (1935). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     The WPA Guide to New York City: The Federal Writers Project Guide to 1930s New York. New York: The New Press, 1939.

Illustrations:
     New York Society for Ethical Culture web site. Old exerior; color interior.
     Trupiano, Larry. Wicks Organ, Op. 3844 (1957).
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y., c.1908). Ethical Society School. Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.