Sixty-eighth Street Reformed Church - New York City (photo: Wurts Bros., ca.1905)
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Sixty-eighth Street Reformed Church

355 East 68th Street
New York, N.Y. 10065

Organ Specifications:
355 East 68th Street (1898-1968)
II/20 Müller & Abel, Op. 34 (1897)
147 Norfolk Street (1861-1897)
• Henry Erben (1876)
21 Forsyth Street near Canal Street (1822-1861)
• Henry Erben (1855)
Nassau Street near Maiden Lane (org. 1758-1822)
• unknown



The Sixty-eighth Street German Evangelical Reformed Church was established in 1750, but was not incorporated until 1758, after an edifice had been built on Nassau Street between John Street and Maiden Lane. John Jacob Astor was its first treasurer and one of the Revolutionary communicants was Baron von Steuben. Known variously as both "The Astor Church" and "The Steuben Church," the society was the first German Reformed church in the country. Church records show that in 1822 there was a strong uptown movement, and the society voted unanimously to follow suit. The old building on Nassau Street was sold for $7,500, and a new church building was erected on Forsyth Street, near Canal Street, where the society was known as the Forsyth Street German Reformed Church. After four decades at this location, the congregation had outgrown its building and built a new church costing $60,000 at 147 Norfolk Street.

By the end of the 19th century, many members had moved uptown to the Yorkville area of Manhattan. The congregation followed its members and in 1898 built its fourth and last building on East 68th Street near First Avenue. After the congregation disbanded in 1968, the building was sold to the First Missionary Alliance Church.
           
  Müller & Abel organ, Op. 34 (1897) in the Sixty-eighth Street Reformed Church - New York City (photo: Wurts Bros., ca.1905)
Müller & Abel
New York City – Opus 34 (1897)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 18 stops, 20 ranks



The following specification was recorded (Dec. 6, 1913) by Louis F. Mohr & Co., an organ service concern in the area. Mohr later noted (in 1917) that the organ had a wind pressure of 3½ inches and was blown by "Hand power."
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
8
  Open Diapason
61
4
  Octave
61
8
  Dulciana
61
2 2/3
  Octave Quint
61
8
  Viol di Gamba
61
2
  Super Octave
61
8
  Doppel Flute
61
8
  Trumpet
61
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [TC]
49
4
  Flute Harmonic
61
16
  Bourdon Bass
12
4
  Gemshorn
61
8
  Open Diapason
61
    Cornet, 3 ranks
183
8
  Salicional
61
8
  Oboe
61
8
  Stopped Diapason
61
    Tremulant  
               
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
16
  Open Diapason
30
       
16
  Bourdon
30
       
               
Couplers ("4 coupler")
    [Great to Pedal]   [Swell to Great]
    [Swell to Pedal]   [Swell to Great Octaves]
               
Combinations ("5 combination pedals")
    Two combinations to Great Organ   Full Organ pedal
    Two combinations to Swell Organ    
               
Pedal Movements
    Great to Pedal Reversible      
    Balance Swell Pedal      
           
Organ in church located at 147 Norfolk Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1876)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Organ in church located on Forsyth Street:

Henry Erben
New York City (1855)
Mechanical action


Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
             
Sources:
     "Church Celebrates 170th Anniversary," The New York Times (Dec. 10, 1928), p. 30.
     "Church Marks 180th Year," The New York Times (Feb. 21, 1938), p. 17.
     "Church Observes Its 175th Birthday," The New York Times (Feb. 27, 1933), p. 13.
     "Farewell Church Service," The New York Times (June 21, 1897), p. 3.
     "German Church Dedicated," The New York Times (Feb. 21, 1898), p. 10.
     Haberstroh, Richard. The German Churches of Metropolitan New York: A Research Guide. New York: The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, 2000.
     "Kaiser Bell Rings Church's 150th Year," The New York Times (Dec. 7, 1908), p. 8.
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications of Müller & Abel Organ, Op. 34 (1895). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
     "Philip Hauser Dies; Organist 50 Years," The New York Times (June 22, 1938), p. 23.

Illustrations:
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). Photos (ca.1905) of exterior and interior of East 68th Street building.