The dedication brochure states "the combination pedals are double-acting, and operate without affecting combinations previously made by the registers". Taken literally, this would suggest the stop action was pneumatic and the combinations were "blind", i.e. operate without moving the registers. This would suggest the combination pedals hitched down, and when released the former hand-drawn combination would be restored. This suggests a level of engineering complexity not typical in organs of this era, but may have been employed in the large Hastings monumental organs at the Philadelphia Centennial, Boston's Holy Cross Cathedral, and the Cincinnati Music Hall also completed this year-- all which had pneumatic stop action, and unlike this organ, also had a Crescendo device.
The monumental case was of ash trimmed with walnut, the largest decorated wood Diapason pipes formed the case sides, and it measured 35 feet tall, 24 feet wide and 20 feet deep.
During the 19th-century, the church interior was the second largest in Boston after Holy Cross Cathedral which was nearby. The congregation was ethnic German, and had a long history of outstanding church music up until the point the church was closed by the diocese and consolidated in 2008. The organ was the fourth largest 19th-century Hook instrument in the Boston environs until the firm created several four-manual organs there in the 20th century. Like the triumverate of monumental Hastings organs of this era: Holy Cross Cathedral, Philadelphia Centennial Organ, Cincinnati Music Hall, this instrument had heroic scaling and voicing with monumental Great and 9-stop Pedal divisions. In 1957, the church suffered a serious fire in the tower which reputedly heavily damaged the organ. The church was rebuilt, and Conrad Olson reconstructed the instrument in the unencased "Holtkamp" style, reusing 24 of the original 55 Hook ranks on new electro-pneumatic pitman wind chests and modern multi-reservoir wind system with a multitude of pressures.
Rebuilt and revoiced by Conrad Olson, who had worked for Hook & Hastings. --Leonardo Ciampa
In 2008 the church was closed and its assets transferred to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
In 2014 the pipework of the organ was being removed by the Organ Clearing House.
Gt. couplers and action contained pneumatics. Badly damaged by fire in 1950s. Some materials used in replacement organ.
Church exterior: Photograph from an archival source: Historic postcard from Diocese website, submitted by Scot Huntington. Taken approx. ca. 1900