J.H. & C.S. Odell, Pipe Organ Builders

Distinctive and refined instruments for worship

In December of 2008 we completed a special project for the Zabriskie Memorial Church of St. John the Evangelist located in historic Newport, Rhode Island.

St. John's is home to a distinguished Hook and Hastings organ from 1894, which was rebuilt and electrified by that same firm in 1934. While the organ remains tonally extant and in otherwise very good condition, the mechanism of the 1934 console (whose quality, while respectable, was not on par with the rest of the organ) was largely non-functional when we first examined it in 2006.

Add to this the somewhat austere appearance of the old console cabinet in a sanctuary otherwise well-appointed with traditional Gothic architectural elements, and one can understand the desire of the church to have a new design for a replacement console worthy of its setting. This new terrace-jamb console is made from quarter-sawn white oak, as are the other furnishings of the church.

Integrating carved lancets and rosettes into our console design was a challenge we welcomed. To see images from the design process and the final product, click on the photo of the pipe facade at right to launch the image gallery. You may note that we have integrated the pattern of lancets and rosettes in a manner that closely matches the installed Choir modesty rail.

In addition to the fabricating and installing the console, we completely rewired the organ in compliance with currect electrical codes, restored and stencilled the West-facing facade, and designed and built new electro-pneumatic windchests for the Pedal Bourdon 16' and Violoncello 8'.

More work for the organ at St. John's is planned, including restoration and stencilling of the South-facing facade, restoration of the Great Trumpet and Pedal Trombone, and other much-needed mechanical repairs.

St. John the Evangelist, Newport, Rhode Island
Hook and Hastings Opus 1611 and 2610 (1894 and 1934) | II/26 | Electropneumatic Key and Stop Action