The OHS Pipe Organ Database

First Universalist Church
150 South Clinton Ave.
Rochester, New York 14604-1803

OHS Database ID 658.

See the address on Google Maps.


This organ received OHS Citation number 139.

OHS Convention Organ, 2018.

Status and Condition

The organ has been altered from the original installation as described here.
The organ needs repairs, but is in usable condition.
We received the most recent update on this organ's state and condition May 5, 2013.

Technical Details

Wurlitzer EP chests .

Three manuals. 4 divisions. 13 ranks. Manual compass is 61 notes. Pedal compass is 32 notes.

The organ is in center chambers at the front of the room with visible façade pipes or case front. The console is in a fixed position, center.

Stop keys in horseshoe curves. Balanced swell shoes/pedals, standard AGO placement. Combination Action: Setterboard. AGO Standard (concave radiating) pedalboard. Reversible full organ/tutti toe stud. Combination action thumb pistons.


  • Status Note: There 1990 (OHS PC Database. October 30, 2004)
  • Updated through online information from Paul Marchesano. (Database Manager. May 30, 2011)
  • Updated through online information from Scot Huntington. -- The organ was dedicated by Edwin Lemare on Oct. 6, 1908, in spite of last minute sabotage inflicted on the instrument. The subject of ridicule by local musicians for many years, in 1929 the organ began to be broadcast over WHAM by the noted British cathedral organist Thomas Grierson, who had emigrated to Rochester – broadcasts which continued until his retirement in 1947. The organ was rediscovered as an instrument capable of great beauty in the right hands, and the broadcasts of organ, choir and soloists were extremely popular.

    The organ was altered slightly by the Wurlitzer Company in 1937 with the addition of Chimes, the possible alteration/revoicing of the Cornopean, and the enclosure of two unenclosed ranks – work made possible by a substantial anonymous gift as a memorial to the church's chairwoman. The organ is the largest Hope-Jones instrument extant in the United States, and perhaps the most unaltered of his instruments remaining, in the world. It was nominated for an OHS Historic Organ Citation in 1994 in order to help stave off under-budgeted work by an unqualified builder. However, before the plaque could be presented, the builder proceeded with the project which so severely compromised the organ that the plaque was never presented.

    In recent years, restorative repairs have been made as funds permit, and the OHS Citation is still active, with a formal presentation pending a return of this historic instrument to a condition commensurate with its historic status. (Database Manager. May 5, 2013)

Online Documents

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Related Database Entries

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Other Websites

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Church Interior, Chancel, and Pipe Facades. Photograph by Paul L. and Sally L. Gordon; image courtesy of the Library of Congress 1966-10-23

Pipe organs in New York sponsored by Foley-Baker, Inc.

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When they are available, stoplists for organs are included in the Database. To make corrections in stoplists that you see here, please send details via e-mail to rather than submitting a new stoplist through our online form.

  • Typed Specification. Source: from OHS 2018 Convention Handbook and Scot Huntington
    Rochester, New York
    First Universalist Church
    Hope-Jones Organ Co.        Opus 2      1908   3 manuals, 13 ranks
    The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.   Opus 2215   1937   Rebuild
                    MAIN CHAMBER                             TUBA CHAMBER
         16' Diapason Phonon         73 pipes*    16' Ophecleide/Tuba/Clarion 85 pipes
         16' Tibia Clausa            73 pipes*
          8' Horn Diapason           73 pipes
          8' Viol d'Orchestre        73 pipes
          8' Viol Celeste            73 pipes
         16' Bourdon/Flute           85 pipes
          8' Gedact/Lieblich Flute   73 pipes
          8' Aeoline                 73 pipes
          4' Unda Maris              61 pipes
          8' Trumpet                 61 pipes
          8' Clarinet                61 pipes
         16' Vox Humana              73 pipes
             Cathedral Chimes        25 notes**
          *  originally unenclosed; enclosed 1937
         **  added 1937
             PEDAL                                    GREAT
         32' Resultant Bass                       16' Contra Tibia Clausa
         16' Diapason Phonon                       8' Diapason Phonon
         16' Contra Tibia Clausa                   8' Tibia Clausa
         16' Bourdon                               8' Horn Diapason
          8' Flute                                 8' Concert Flute
          8' Cello                                 8' Gedact
         16' Ophecleide                            4' Octave
         16' Vox Humana                            4' Flute
          8' Tuba                                 16' Ophecleide
          4' Clarion                               8' Tuba
             Great to Pedal                        4' Clarion
             Swell to Pedal                           Cathedral Chimes
             Swell to Pedal Octave                    Great Octave
             Choir to Pedal                           Swell to Great Suboctave
                                                      Swell to Great
             CHOIR                                    Swell to Great Octave
         16' Aeoline (t.c)                            Choir to Great Suboctave
          8' Horn Diapason                            Choir to Great
          8' Concert Flute                            Choir to Great Octave
          8' Viol d'Orchestre
          8' Gedact                                   SWELL
          8' Aeoline                              16' Bourdon
          8' Unda Maris (t.c)                      8' Horn Diapason
          4' Flute                                 8' Concert Flute
          4' Dulcet                                8' Viol d'Orchestre
          4' Unda Maris                            8' Celeste
         16' Ophecleide                            8' Gedact
          8' Vox Humana                            8' Aeoline
          8' Clarinet                              4' Octave
          8' Tuba                                  4' Flute
          4' Clarion                               4' Gambette
             Choir Suboctave                       4' Octave Celeste
             Choir Octave                         16' Vox Humana
             Swell to Choir Suboctave              8' Tuba
             Swell to Choir                        8' Trumpet
             Swell to Choir Octave                 8' Vox Humana
                                                   8' Clarinet
                                                      Swell Suboctave
                                                      Swell Octave
             COMBINATION PISTONS                      PISTONS IN SWELL KEYSLIP
             Swell    pp  p   mp  mf  f   ff          Unison ON and OFF
             Great    p   mp  mf  f   ff  fff         Tremolo ON and OFF (Main Chamber)
             Choir    pp  p   mp  mf  f   ff
             GENERAL                                  BALANCED SWELL SHOES
             Choir Suitable Bass                      Main Expression
             Great Suitable Bass                      Tuba Expression
             Swell Suitable Bass                      Crescendo Pedal (in separate alcove)
    [Received from Steven E. Lawson  2018-06-25]
  • Click Here Typed Specification. Source: from OHS 2018 Convention Handbook and Scot Huntington Plain text; will open in a new window or tab.