Our Opus 327, as well as the church itself, was a gift from Mrs. Elliott Shepard as a memorial to her husband.
The architects of record for the church are Haydel and Shepard, a short-lived partnership of Stanford White's nephew, Haydel, and a nephew of Elliott Shepard. Their only other significant building, the Fabbri Mansion on Manhattan's 64th street, echoes the neo-classical style of both Woodlea and the Scarborough Church-- briefly called, "Shepard Memorial," but organized as Scarborough Presbyterian. A reprint of the dedication announcement from the May 12, 1895 edition of the New York Times may be seen here.
The instrument was originally conceived as two manuals and twenty-six ranks, with slider chests. It was among our first (if not the first) electric action instrument; the console was originally installed in the front of the church, but later moved to the gallery.
After years of planning, restoration work has finally been completed. During the first week of February, 2009, our crew, headed by shop Foreman John Williams, worked with Auer's Rigging on the dismantling and removal of the organ. After careful restoration at our facility, the organ was reinstalled one year later in January of 2010.
Our work included a thorough restoration of all pipes, both slider windchests, console and facade. Several tonal and mechanical changes which had been made to the organ over the years were carefully reversed. The manual keyboard compass was returned to the original 58 notes. The winding system was entirely re-engineered, providing for several enhancements, especially in the organ's electro-pneumatic stop action system, which now has its own independent high-pressure reservoir. New facade casework and paneling were fabricated to better match existing architectural elements.