First Reformed Church - Astoria, N.Y. (Forgotten-ny.com)
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First Reformed Church

27-26 12th Street at 27th Avenue
Astoria, N.Y. 11102
http://churches.rca.org/firstastoria/

Organ Specifications:
Present building (since 1889):
II/15 George Jardine & Son (c.1870)
II/13 J.H. & C.S. Odell, Op. 233 (1887) – installed c.1925
First building (1837-burned 1888):
• unknown (1858)

The First Reformed Church of Astoria was organized in 1835 when a group of Christians composed principally of those with membership in the Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian denominations met at the Schoolhouse of Hallet’s Cove on October 12, 1835 to determine if it was feasible to form a church. For a year this small group continued to gather for worship and to raise funds to construct a suitable House of Worship. On October 6, 1836, the cornerstone of a white frame church building of colonial architecture was laid. Services of worship were conducted each Sunday afternoon on an alternating basis by the Rev. John Goldsmith, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Newtown and the Rev. Garret J. Garretson, pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Newtown. This group petitioned the Presbyterian and the Dutch Reformed denominations to assist them with their building indebtedness of $3,000.00. The Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church of New York responded with a gift of $1,500.00. Based on that financial assistance, The Classis of Long Island was petitioned to organize the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the Village of Astoria. The church was officially organized at a service on July 14, 1839.

On November 28, 1880 the “new Chapel” — now called the Church Hall — was dedicated and was widely acclaimed as the best accommodation for any Sunday School in Astoria. On Saturday, January 14, 1888, a fire of unknown origin broke out in the church, damaging the floor, some of the pews and slightly damaging the organ. The organ, pews, pulpit furniture, clock and bell were removed and stored in the chapel, and the 1837 church building was razed. 

The cornerstone of the present church was laid on October 6, 1888, fifty-two years to the day after the laying of the cornerstone of the first church building. The brick Victorian Gothic building had terra cotta and copper details, and an octagonal tower and steeple. The original steeple was destroyed by lightning and was rebuilt.

Behind the church are gravestones from its lost cemetery bearing inscriptions for Stephen Halsey, the founder of Astoria Village, and Grant Thorburn, its first postmaster.
   
George Jardine & Son
New York City (c.1870)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops, 15 ranks


The following specification is from the files of Louis F. Mohr & Co., a longtime organ maintenance firm in the area. Mohr's entry (dated Jan. 25, 1958) states that the organ had 3½" wind pressure – powered by a Century Type RS motor – and there was no case with the Great out in the open. It is not known when this organ was installed in the church. The status of this organ is unknown as of 2009.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 56 notes
8
  Open Diapason
56
8
  Clarinet Flute [TC?]
44
8
  Clariana [TC?]
44
4
  Principal
56
8
  Stop Diapason [Bass]
12
2
  Piccolo
56
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 56 notes, enclosed
16
  Bourdon [TC]
44
4
  Violina
56
8
  Open Diapason [TC]
44
4
  Harmonic Flute
56
8
  Stop Diapason Bass
12
2
  Flageolet
56
8
  Stop Diapason Treble
44
8
  Bassoon [Bass]
12
8
  Viol d'Amour [TC]
44
8
  Oboe [Treble]
44
8
  Celestina [TF]
39
       
               
Pedal Organ – 25 notes
16
  Double Stop Diapason
25
       
               
Couplers
    Swell to Pedal      
    Great to Pedal      
    Swell to Great piston on & off      
           
Mechanicals
    Balanced Swell Pedal      
    Tremulant      
   
J.H. & C.S. Odell
New York City – Opus 233 (1887)
Mechanical action
2 manuals, 15 stops
, 13 ranks


About 1925, a second-hand organ was installed in First Reformed Church. This organ was built in 1887 by J.H. & C.S. Odell of New York City, and was originally installed in Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan. In 1925, an Estey organ (Op. 2420) was installed in Blessed Sacrament Church, and the Odell organ was acquired by First Reformed Church. The Odell organ was a "Size No. 9" stock model having two manuals and a 27-note pedalboard, with a case measuring 16 feet high, 11 feet 3 inches wide, and 7 feet 3 inches deep.
               
Great Organ (Manual I) – 58 notes
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Wald Flute [TC]
46
8
  Keraulophon [grooved bass]
46
4
  Octave
58
8
  Melodia
46
2
  Fifteenth
58
8
  Unison Bass
12
       
               
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 58 notes, enclosed
8
  Open Diapason
58
4
  Violina
58
8
  Dulciana [TC]
46
2
  Flautino
58
8
  Clarionet Flute
46
8
  Oboe [TC]
46
8
  Stopped Bass
12
    Tremolo  
               
Pedal Organ – 27 notes
16
  Bourdon [large scale]
27
       
               
Mechanical Registers
    Swell to Great     Patent Reversible [Great to Pedal]
    Swell to Pedal     Bellows Signal
    Great to Pedal     Balance Swell Pedal
               
Composition Pedals on Great Organ
    Piano          
    Forte          
 
Sources:
     First Reformed Church of Astoria web site: http://churches.rca.org/firstastoria/
     Forgotten New York web site: http://www.forgotten-ny.com
     Greater Astoria Historical Society web site: http://www.astorialic.org
     Mohr, Louis F. & Co. Specifications (dated Jan. /25, 1958) of George Jardine & Son organ (c.1870). Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     Trupiano, Larry. Contract for J.H. & C.S. Odell organ, Op. 233 (1887) with "Size No. 9" specifications.

Photos:
     Forgotten New York web site: 2001 exterior.