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

More than 150 years building distinctive and refined instruments for worship

Brothers John Henry and Caleb Sherwood Odell founded the organ building firm of J.H. & C.S. Odell on the bustling corner of West 42nd Street and 9th Avenue in New York City in 1859. Odell was immediately successful and built more than 500 pipe organs at that location before relocating to Westchester, New York in the 1930s.   Odell remained active in the Greater New York Metropolitan area well into the 1970s, but after the death of the principal of the firm, William H. Odell in 1979, decided to dissolve the firm after completing obligations to then-current clients.

In the pursuit of a long sought vision, the Odell company was re-established by Caleb Sherwood Odell's  great-great grandson Edward Odell, in 1999 -- this after garnering more than twenty years of organ building experience -- both on his own and with other well-established national firms. With more than three decades of full-time work in the trade, Edward is now a respected and credentialed professional as a Colleague member of the American Institute of Organbuilders.  The new Odell firm has been active in a modern shop in central Connecticut for more than 15 years.

Since re-establishing the firm, Odell has successfully built many exciting new pipe organs, executed meticulous historic restorations and performed vastly complicated repair projects. With our team of carefully recruited artisans, Odell performs all its own millwork, joinery, fabrication, voicing and finishing. Further, unlike many firms today, Odell casts its own pipe metal and makes its own organ pipes.

Timelessness, musicality and an unflinching commitment to quality are our foremost concerns as pipe organ builders. We possess a profound dedication to our work;  clients quickly learn  that when they partner with Odell, they work directly with people who -- given the opportunity  --  will design and construct their instrument from raw materials with passion and exactitude. Our ever-present goal is to develop nuanced solutions and create pipe organs that will serve their congregations with reliability and grace for generations to come.

Early in 2015 we announced the contract award from Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church of San Antonio, Texas.  The commission is a thorough rebuild of an existing four manual and 50 stop organ, built by Visser-Rowland as their opus 29.

The scope of the project is  comprehensive and includes repair and restoration of the slider chests, replacing the key action with electric pulldown motors, rescaling and revoicing the reed and flue pipes, tonal regulation of the entire organ and construction of a new, mobile four-manual console with a curved-terrace design.

The project is currently underway at our shop in East Haddam and progress pictures will be posting in the new year.  More information can be found at the following links:


The music program at St. Luke’s is headed by Mr. Russell Jackson, and belongs to the Anglican choral tradition. Music at St. Luke's enjoys tremendous support from the clergy, congregation and community of San Antonio. Removal of the organ will begin this spring and we look forward to reinstalling the completed instrument in the summer of 2016.