A brief history of the organs at our church
The Roman Catholic Parish of St. Monica was established in 1879 to serve Catholics living and working on the far east side of Manhattan. Until that time, Catholics in the area attended services at St. Lawrence O'Toole Church (later named St. Ignatius Loyola) on East 84th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Father James J. Dougherty, St. Monica's first pastor, purchased an old feed store on East 78th Street and in six weeks had converted it into a church seating 250 people. Total cost of the land and church was $7,000.
In 1881, Father Dougherty bought the present property on East 79th Street, just east of First Avenue. Although the corner lot was then available, it is thought that Father Dougherty feared that the noise from traffic along First Avenue would disrupt church services. Later that year, the cornerstone was laid for a new church, and in 1883 the Lower Church was completed and dedicated.
On May 7, 1905, the cornerstone for the present church was laid, and construction began around and above the original church. Designed by Schickel & Ditmars, the new Gothic-style church of brick with limestone trim was finished in 1907. On August 18, 1953, a fire destroyed the roof of the church and caused considerable water damage to the interior. The church was quickly repaired and redecorated.
Foley Baker Organ Company (2021/2022)
Foley Baker Inc.
2 North River Road
Tollland, CT. 06084
In 2021 Foley Baker Inc began the restoration on the organ. The wind system that provides air to the organ’s 2,989 pipes with the provision of 221 more was simply undersized. So Foley Baker has:
Installed new blowers for more horsepower.
Made new wooden wind trunks to support the organ's air needs.
Replaced the reservoir tanks – which provide the air to the wind chests.
Releathered the straps on the 7 reservoir tanks.
Performed a major cleaning and regulation of the middle pipes – the Great, Pedal-treble and Tuba pipes.
Will be installing a new oboe (March 2022) to replace the original Hall oboe from 1931. (Thanks to an anonymous generous donor)
From their work thus far, the organ is now fully winded. From the extensive cleaning the following stops are now speaking again:
16 Double Open Diapason 61
Mixture IV ranks 244
Acuta III ranks 183
8 Tuba Mirabilis SO
8 Trumpet 61
8 Clarinet 61
16 Grand Open Diapason 32
16 Trombone 32
8 Trumpet 32
Oboe (New - to be installed March 2022)
Timothy Fink & Company, Inc.
Port Chester, N.Y. (2008)
3 manuals, 52 registers, 44 stops, 53 ranks
In the early 1990s, a reconstruction of the Hall organ was begun by Mann & Trupiano of Brooklyn, who provided new chests, some new pipework, and a new terraced drawknob console built by Harris Organs, Inc., of Whittier, Calif. In the new arrangement, the Choir is in the left tower, with the Swell in the right tower. The Great and Pedal divisions are behind the center case in front of the window. In front of the Pedal are the new Great and Pedal treble chests. After several starts and stops on the project, organbuilder Timothy Fink completed the organ as financial resources become available.
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes
16 Double Open Diapason 61 2 2/3 Twelfth 61
16 Lieblich Gedackt SO 2 Fifteenth 61
8 Open Diapason 61 Mixture IV ranks 244
8 Stopped Diapason 61 Acuta III ranks 183
8 Harmonic Flute [1-12 St. Diap.] 49 8 Trumpet 61
8 Gedackt SO Great Unison Off
8 Viola da Gamba 61 8 Tuba Mirabilis SO
4 Octave 61
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16 Quintaton preparation Mixture V ranks 305
8 Open Diapason 61 16 Bombarde preparation
8 Stopped Diapason 61 8 Harmonic Trumpet 61
8 Harmonic Flute [1-17 St. Diap.] 44 8 Oboe 61
8 Salicional 61 8 Vox Humana 61
8 Voix Celeste (TC) 49 4 Harmonic Clarion 61
4 Principal 61 Swell Unison Off
4 Flute Traverso 61 Tremulant
2 Flautino 61 8 Tuba Mirabilis SO
Solo Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
16 Lieblich Gedackt 73 2 Harmonic Piccolo 61
8 Diapason 61 1 3/5 Tierce 61
8 Concert Flute 61 1 1/3 Quint 61
8 Dolce 61 8 Clarinet 61
8 Dolce Celeste (TC) 49 Solo Unison Off
4 Octave 61 Tremulant
4 Rohr Flute 61 8 Tuba Mirabilis 61
2 2/3 Nazard 61
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32 Bourdon preparation 8 Gemshorn 32
16 Grand Open Diapason 32 4 Super Octave 32
16 Open Diapason GT Mixture IV ranks preparation
16 Bourdon 32 32 Trombone preparation
16 Lieblich Gedackt SO 16 Trombone 32
8 Octave 32 8 Trumpet 32
8 Echo Flute SO 8 Tuba Mirabilis SO
Great to Pedal Solo to Swell
Swell to Pedal 8', 4' Great to Swell
Solo to Pedal 8', 4' Swell to Solo
Swell to Great 16', 8' Great to Solo
Solo to Great
Swell OrganPistons 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Great OrganPistons 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Solo OrganPistons 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (thumb)
Pedal OrganPistons 0-1-2-3-4-5-6 (thumb)
Entire OrganPistons 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 (thumb & toe)
Pistons 13-14-15-16 (thumb)
Great to Pedal (thumb & foot paddle) Tuba on Great (thumb)
Swell to Pedal (thumb & foot paddle) Tuba on Swell (thumb)
Solo to Pedal (thumb & foot paddle) Tuba on Solo (thumb)
Swell to Great (thumb) Tuba on Pedal (thumb)
Solo to Great (thumb) Reeds Off (thumb & toe stud)
Swell to Solo (thumb) Mixtures Off (piston & toe stud)
32' Bourdon (foot paddle) Sforzando 1 (thumb & foot paddle)
32' Trombone (foot paddle) Sforzando 2 (thumb & foot paddle)
Balanced Solo Pedal
Balanced Swell Pedal
Balanced Crescendo Pedal
Reeds Off Sforzando 1
Mixtures Off Sforzando 2
Hall Organ Company Ad (1931)
Hall Organ Company
West Haven, Conn. – Opus 590 (c.1931)
3 manuals, 35 registers, 31 stops, 33 ranks
About 1931, the Hall Organ Company rebuilt the organ at St. Monica's Church, providing new windchests,
a new console and some pipe work, but also incorporating pipes from the previous organs built by J.H. & C.S.
Odell and Hilborne L. Roosevelt. The Hall organ used electro-pneumatic chest action but had mechanical swell
pedals. In the left tower were located the Great and Choir divisions, with the Swell on the right and the Pedal in
On August 18, 1953, a fire broke out in the attic above the organ, and the organ suffered extensive water
Great Organ (Manual II) – 61 notes, partially enclosed with Choir
16 Diapason * 61 8 Doppel Flute 61
8 Diapason * 61 4 Octave * 61
8 Gamba 61 4 Harmonic Flute 61
8 Gamba Celeste 61 8 Trumpet 61
Swell Organ (Manual III) – 61 notes, enclosed
16 Bourdon 61 4 Gambetta 61
8 Diapason 61 Mixture III ranks [12-15-17] 183
8 Salicional 61 8 Cornopean 61
8 Aeoline 61 8 Oboe 61
8 Quintadena 61 8 Vox Humana 61
8 Stopped Diapason 61 Tremulant
4 Flauto Traverso 61
Choir Organ (Manual I) – 61 notes, enclosed
8 Viole d'Orchestre 61 4 Rohr Flute 61
8 Dolce 61 2 Piccolo 61
8 Unda Maris 61 8 Clarinet 61
8 Concert Flute 61 Tremulant
Pedal Organ – 32 notes
32 Contra Bass (resultant) — 16 Bourdon 44
16 First Diapason 44 8 Diapason (fr. 1st Diap.) —
16 Second Diapason GT 8 Flute (fr. Bourdon) —
16 Violone 32 4 Octave 32
Great to Pedal 8' Swell to Great 16', 8', 4'
Swell to Pedal 8', 4' Choir to Great 16', 8', 4'
Choir to Pedal 8', 4' Swell to Choir 16', 8', 4'
Swell to Swell 16', 4' Choir to Choir 16', 4'
J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co.
New York City (c.1907)
The original organ in the Upper Church was built by J.H. & C.S. Odell of New York City. However, as this organ does not appear on the Odell opus list, it is possible that the organ may have been a second-hand instrument. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
Lintgen, Luxembourg (1960s)
1 manual, 5 stops, 5 ranks
This five-stop continuo instrument, built by Georg Westenfelder of Luxembourg, was used for
many years while the gallery organ was unplayable. The nameplate inside the case does not
indicate a date, but it is believed the organ may have been built in the 1960s. There are five
unlabled stops, each having two slides to activate the treble and bass ranges of the 53-note
manual keyboard that divides at tenor B (B24) and middle C (C25). The manual can be transposed
one-half step by sliding the keyboard. The blower is contained in the base of the case.
Manual – 53 notes (stops are divided at B24 / C25)
8 [Gedeckt] 53 Stopped flute – wood & metal
4 [Rohrflöte] 53 Chimney flute – metal
2 [Hohlflöte] 53 Open flute – metal
1 1/3 [Quinte] 53 Open flute – metal
8 [Regal] 53 1/4 length reed – metal
Organ in Lower Church:
Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 105 (1883)
2 manuals, 19 stops
In 1883, Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York City built an organ for the Lower Church. This organ was later incorporated into an organ for the Upper Church built c.1931 by the Hall Organ Company. Specifications for this organ have not yet been located.
"Blaze Destroys Roof of East Side Church," The New York Times (Aug. 19, 1953).
"Church Cornerstone Laid," The New York Times (May 8, 1905).
Dunlap, David. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
Nelson, George. Organs in the United States and Canada Database. Seattle, Wash.
Organ Fundraising booklet, published by St. Monica's Church, c.1990.
"St. Monica Church Marks 75th Year," The New York Times (Oct. 25, 1954).
Shelley, Thomas J. The Bicentennial History of the Archdiocese of New York 1808-2008. Strasbourg: Éditions du Signe, 2007.
Trupiano, Larry. Specifications of Hall organ (c.1931).
The American Organist (March? 1931). Hall Organ Company advertisement. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
Lawson, Steven E. Exterior; interior; Timothy Fink & Co. Organ (2008); Georg Westenfelder Continu