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.

Setting up in late 2002, after 8 years in the old town center of East Hampton, in  2011 we moved our shop to a newer, more suitable facility in nearby East Haddam, Connecticut.

The Town of East Haddam, which is part of Middlesex County, has an overall population of less than 8,400, though it is one of the largest towns in Connecticut in terms of area. The town contains several villages, including the East Haddam Village, Bashan, Lake Hayward, Leesville, Little Haddam, Millington, Moodus and North Plain.

East Haddam is perhaps best known for its cultural attractions, including the Goodspeed Opera House, Gillette Castle and the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse.

Our new shop is located in a small industrial park in the village of Moodus, directly opposite the Moodus Post Office on Falls Road. This new facility has the same amount of working area as our old shop, just under 4000 square feet. In addition to the main shop, we are maintaining an additional 1000 square feet of readily accessed storage in an adjacent building.

The advantages for us lie in the geometry of the layout; we have gained much needed ceiling clearance for erecting. With a wider floor plan, we have a more ergonomic layout for the flow of material around our sliding table saw and milling equipment. An unanticipated, but nonetheless welcome improvements are found in the office, meeting room and voicing suite.  Thanks to a special loan program from the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development, in 2012 we expanded our facility with equipment then now enables us to cast our own pipe metal.

We invite you visit with us if you are ever in the area, though we would ask that you call and make an appointment.