A review of the organ's dedication in 1896 was effusive in its praise of the organ, but cited the performance of the church's choir for that event as decidedly poor and second rate. One curious description of the console is quoted here, but is hard to rationalize in the light of current knowledge of early Hook consoles: "The 38 stops are arranged in a horizontal line right across the organ, just above the swell manual. " The installer is also mentioned: "The organ was put up under the direction of Mr. Arneson, one of the firm's trusted organ builders." Nothing listed in Fox about anyone by this name. To date, no photo or description of the enlarged replacement console of 1897 has surfaced.
Updated by Scot Huntington, naming this as the source of information: Buffalo Commercial (newspaper) Sept. 4, 1897, page 15.
The organ, costing $8,000, was delivered in September 1896 and was opened on October 6th in time for the Diocesan conference called to select a new Bishop (\"The Buffalo Courier\", Wednesday Oct. 7, 1896). The instrument had electro-pneumatic action to slider chests, used with some regularity by Roosevelt and others, but still somewhat experimental for Hook & Hastings. The 1897 newspaper article cited in the reference for this entry noted Hook & Hastings had just completed enlarging the organ with 5 new stops and had relocated the console to the south (right) side of the chancel, where all subsequent consoles have been placed. This 1897 article is so far the oldest known citation of the stoplist, although it erroneously omits three stops. It is not clear if the added stops were prepared for or if they were added with new chests, pipes, and mechanism. The article states \'the \"Great\" Organ\' was moved to the south side and the light from the (La Farge) window played upon the facade pipes. However, there is not now, nor ever has been a chamber space on the south side (or a window), and the organ chamber and famous transept window are on the North side. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is the console, not the entire organ, was moved to the opposite side of the chancel in 1897. The 1896 Hook facade of 16\' Open Diapason basses is still extant, now with the 1954 Schlicker chancel organ behind it.
Charles Viner subsequently performed unspecified repairs or alterations to the organ, ostensibly in 1907 and ca. 1927, ultimately enlarging it with Solo and Echo divisions (6 ranks, 12 stops, 19 registers) and a large horseshoe console with an extensive complement of couplers and combination pistons. The organ remained in this condition until 1954 when it was replaced by Schlicker with a landmark new organ- 3-manual gallery and 2-manual chancel instruments. Several historic ranks were recycled in the gallery organ and the majority of the chancel organ reused the H&H pipework.
Altered by Charles Viner in 1907 and in 1927-28.