Phillips Presbyterian Church - New York City
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Phillips Presbyterian Church

Madison Avenue, northeast corner of 73rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10021


Organ Specifications:
Madison Avenue at East 73rd Street (1858-1899)
Second building (1874-1899)
• Hall & Labagh (1874)
First building (1858-1874)
• unknown
15th Street, betw. Irving Place & Third Avenue (1844-1858)
II/22 Hall & Labagh (1851)



The Phillips Presbyterian Church can trace its roots to 1844, when it was organized as the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. A modest church was built on 15th Street, between Irving Place and Third Avenue. In 1858 the congregation moved uptown to Lenox Hill, where a building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 73rd Street. At this time, the society was renamed Phillips Presbyterian Church, in honor of the Rev. William Wirt Phillips (1796-1865), a notable leader in the Presbyterian Church. In 1873, a second building was erected on the site; designed by R. H. Robertson, the Victorian Gothic building featured an imposing tower on its corner entrance.

A merger of the Phillips Presbyterian and Madison Avenue Presbyterian congregations occurred in 1899. The combined congregations used the Phillips Presbyterian Church facilities but were known as Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.
         
  Phillips Presbyterian Church - New York City (Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church Archives)
Hall & Labagh
New York City (1874)
Mechanical action






Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
         
Organ in Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church:

Hall & Labagh
New York City (1851)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 19 stops, 22 ranks


The first-known organ for the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church was described in Choral Advocate and Singing Class Journal (Sept. 1851):

“The Swell Organ is very comprehensive, and is contained in a double box, giving an unusual crescendo and diminuendo.

"The action is extended so that the organist can face the choir and yet the machinery works easily and perfectly. The stops of remarkable beauty are the Open Diapasons, Viol da gamba, Cremona, Trumpet, Hautboy, Dulciana and Night Horn. The Bourdon, or Double Stopped Diapason, is so fine an addition that no organist, having once used it, would willingly dispense with it. The Sesquialta contains the flat 21st, giving the minor 7th with the common chord, a peculiarity never before introduced in this country, and but recently in Europe.

" Mr. Thomas Hall … prefers smoothness of tone and adaptedness to church use, before mere power and screaming noise.”

 
Great Organ Manual I
8
  Open Diapason  
4
  Night Horn  
8
  Stopped Diapason  
2 2/3
  Twelfth  
8
  Dulciana  
2
  Fifteenth  
4
  Principal  
8
  Cremona  
               
Swell Organ Manual II (enclosed)
16
  Bourdon  
2
  Fifteenth  
8
  Open Diapason       Sesquialta [sic], 4 ranks  
8
  Stopped Diapason  
8
  Trumpet  
8
  Viol da gamba  
8
  Hautboy  
4
  Principal       Tremulant  
2 2/3
  Twelfth          
               
Choir Bass Manual II (bass to Swell Organ)
8
  Open Diapason  
4
  Principal  
8
  Stopped Diapason          
               
Pedal Organ
16
  Open Diapason          
               
Couplers
    Great & Swell          
    Pedals & Great          
    Pedals & Choir          
           
Sources:
     Choral Advocate and Singing Class Journal (Sept. 1851, Vol. II, No. 4). Specification of Hall & Labagh organ (1851) in Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church website: http://www.mapc.com
     "Phillips Presbyterian Church. Dedication Services Yesterday – A Sketch of Its History," The New York Times (Oct. 19, 1874).

Illustrations:
     Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church Archives. Undated photo of interior. Courtesy Andrew Henderson.