Scot Huntington on June 16, 2020:
We received the most recent update for this note from Scot Huntington
June 16, 2020.
This large electric-action was an early use of that king of action for the conservative Hook & Hastings company. It was originally installed (late) in August of 1896 and enlarged by the same company, with a new console, the following year. A write-up of the refurbished organ was printed in the Buffalo Commercial News, Sept. 4, 1897, page 5. The article states the organ was moved to the "south" side of the chancel. However, this is not now, nor ever has been space for an organ chamber on the south side of the chancel, and the Hook was originally installed in a chamber on the north side perpendicular to the church's large and famed LaFarge "Transfiguration" window. The Chancel division of the present large Schlicker is located in this chamber and the original speaking Hook facade is still in use as a Pedal 16' Principal. The reporter apparently is confusing "the organ" and the console as the same thing.
This article published the stoplist, which is the first know copy of this information, and states specifically which 5 stops were added in the enlargement. This stoplist erroneously omits 5 stops and the Tremolo. The manual couplers on the new console were controlled by thumb pistons, nor is it stated how the pedal couplers were controlled-- i.e. knobs, tablets, hitchdown or reversible pedals, nor are any identified. There are nine combination pedals, but it is not stated whether or not they are adjustable.
It is not made clear whether the 1897 stops were chest preparations in 1896, or if they were added with new pipes and mechanism. If they were prepared for, one might assume the console would be prepared for the additions as well, thus making a new console just a year later, unnecessary.
The organ received major repairs or alteration from Charles Viner in 1907 and ca. 1925. The stoplist recorded in the Viner notebook ca. 1925 follows his installation of a new and large horseshoe console which in addition to a large complement of couplers and playing aids, controls a new Solo/Echo of 6 ranks, 12 stops and 19 registers. This stoplist also confirms the 5 stops omitted from the stoplist published in 1897. The organ remained in the Viner condition until it was replaced by Schlicker in 1954, recyling about a third of the organ's ranks. The 1925 stoplist omits the Pedal Dolce 16', which might possibly be the Lieblich 16' borrowed from the Swell noted by Viner , and also states the Pedal "Dulciana" is at that time the Great Open Diapason 16'.