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Arthur S. Hyde Residence

15 West 67th Street
New York, N.Y. 10024

Arthur Sewall Hyde - organist  
Arthur Sewall Hyde (1875–1920) was born on February 21, 1875, in Bath, Maine, the son of Gen. Thomas W. Hyde of the Civil War. His early education was in the public schools and with private tutors. In 1896 he received the A.B. degree from Harvard University, after which he continued his musical studies abroad with Charles-Marie Widor in Paris. Hyde was organist for four years at St. John's Church in Charlestown, Mass., then from 1905–1908 was Organist and Choirmaster of Emmanuel Church in Boston, where he directed a choir of fifty boys and men.

In 1908 he succeeded Leopold Stokowski as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City, then located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 44th Street. Dr. Leighton Parks, rector of the church (who was previously rector of Emmanuel Church in Boston from 1878–1904), honored Hyde with a dinner at the Hotel Manhattan on Monday evening, October 5, 1908. This dinner was described in The New Music Review (October 1908):
"Among those present besides Mr. Hyde and Mr. De Costa, organist of St. Bartholomew's Chapel, were Messrs. Samuel Baldwin, Gaston Dethier, Clifford Demarest, Clement Gale, Warren Hedden, Walter Henry Hall, James Helfenstein, Felix Lamond, Will MacFarlane, J. C. Marks, Homer Norris, Gerrit Smith and G. Edward Stubbs. Regrets were received from other prominent organists who were unable to be present." After Dr. Parks gave the only formal speech of the evening, he thanked his guests for coming to meet Mr. Hyde. Dr. Parks then excused himself because he wanted them "to talk together without the presence of a parson." The dinner was a grand success and resulted in the founding of the St. Wilfrid Club, named for an influential English bishop who was known as an advocate of sacred music, a private dinner club for distinguished organists and other professional musicians.
Arthur S. Hyde graduated from Plattsburg (now SUNY Plattsburg) in November 1917. Being that the United States had declared war on Germany in April that same year, Hyde volunteered and served in France with the 18th Infantry. During the Great War he was under fire with his company for seventy-one successive days in the Cantigny campaign, and was gassed twice. Captain Hyde was mustered out of service in June 1919, and in October of that year enthusiastically returned to his work at St. Bartholomew's Church, now moved into their new edifice on Park Avenue at 51st Street. Unfortunately, Hyde was adversely affected by the gas attacks, and after a three-week illness in St. Luke's Hospital he died of pleural pneumonia at the age of 45. His funeral was held at St. Bartholomew's on February 26, 1920. To honor his memory, a 25-note set of Chimes was added to the Gallery Solo division of the Skinner organ. Hyde was a trustee of the Institute of Musical Arts (now the Juilliard School), and was a member of the Metropolitan, Tennis and Racquet, and Harvard Clubs. At the time of his death, Mr. Hyde resided at 16 East 44th Street.

While Mr. Hyde owned the Estey Organ, he lived in The Central Park Studios, a 14-story building with 34 double-height live-work studios located at 15 West 67th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Developed by Steinam & Simonson in 1904–05, the building's upper three floors are ornamented with Gothic arches, gables, and buttresses. The two-story limestone base includes a projecting entrance with Gothic arches, pinnacles, bosses, and gables. In the Gothic lobby are groups of murals painted by various artists associated with the colony. On this same block were built several other studio buildings, including the venerable Hotel des Artistes at the corner of Central Park West.

Estey Organ Company
Brattleboro, Vt. – Opus 638 (1909)
Tubular-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 7 stops, 7 ranks

The organ in Arthur S. Hyde's residence in The Central Park Studios was built by the Estey Organ Company. Correspondence (Feb. 24, 1909) in the Estey Organ Museum shows that Mr. Hyde was not satisfied with the organ:

15 West 67th Street
Mr. Duckworth
     My dear Sir,–
               I write to say that I shall pay for the organ according to the terms of the contract -- "on completion and acceptance". It is necessary to give the organ a thorough test and also the pedal board must be carefully examined and measured before I can accept the instrument. My measurements show that it is an inch narrower than that at St. Bartholomew's Church.
               As soon as I am satisfied with the organ and am sure that it is according to the contract I will be glad to send my check for $1300.
               Before closing, allow me to call your attention, and that of Mr. Estey, to the date agreed upon in the contract, Dec. 20, 1908, for completion and delivery of the organ ordered by me, and allow me to say that, by its delay in delivery, I was put to great inconvenience, for which I had no redress.
Yours truly
               (Signed) Arthur Hyde
Feb. 24, 1909

Additional correspondence (Aug. 31, 1916) in the Estey Organ Museum states that the organ had been sold to Mr. P[ietro]. A. Yon. In 1914, Pietro and his brother, Constantino, opened the Yon Music Studios in the Carnegie Hall Studio Towers. At the time, Pietro Yon was Organist and Choirmaster at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City, a position he held from 1906–1927; he served at St. Patrick's Cathedral from 1926 until his death in 1943. Constantino was Organist and Choirmaster at St. Vincent Ferrer Church from 1917 until his death in 1953.

Also in the Estey Organ Museum is a letter (Apr. 12, 1930) indicating that Pietro Yon sold the organ to Mr. F. G. Goodman, who had it installed in his Brooklyn residence. The following specification is from the Estey Organ Company ledger book, regarding the organ in its Brooklyn location.

Great Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes
  Open Diapason
  Swell to Great
    Swell to Great 4  
Swell Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
  Flute Harmonic
  Stopped Diapason
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
  Swell to Pedal
            Great to Pedal  
Mechanical Accessories
    [Balanced Swell Pedal]   Bellow Signal
    Tremulant   Wind Indicator
     American Guild of Organists Yearbook, 1915. Published by the AGO, New York, 1915.
     "Capt. Arthur S. Hyde Dies," Obituary, The New York Times (Feb. 26, 1920).
     Estey Organ Museum. Correspondence and Ledger Book Specification of Estey organ, Op. 638. Courtesy Larry Trupiano.
     "History of Music at Emmanuel," Emmanuel Church web site:
     One Thousand American Men of Mark of To-Day. Chicago: American Men of Mark, 1916.
     Reports, Constitution, By-Laws and List of Members of The Century Association For the Year 1921. New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1921.
     Smith, Rollin. Stokowski and the Organ. Hillsdale, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 2004.
     Stern, Robert A.M., Gregory Gilmartin and John Massengale. New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanism 1890–1915. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983.
     Young, Leonard and E. Clowes Chorley. A Short History of St. Bartholomew's Church in the City of New York 1835 – 1960. Published by the Church, New York, 1960.

Illustrations: Central Park Studios. Exterior and lobby.
      Undated photo of Arthur S. Hyde. Courtesy Neal Campbell.