Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

The Aeolian Co. (Opus 1654, 1928)

Location:

Residence: Earl C. Sams / Jordan Metz VanLare
460 Beechmont Dr.
New Rochelle, NY 10804 US
Organ ID: 70428

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Private Residences
  • The organ has been rebuilt or substantially revised.
  • The organ's condition is good, in regular use.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Direct electric
  • 27 ranks. 5 divisions. 3 manuals. 27 stops.
Great:
  • Chest Type(s): Direct electric chests
  • Position: In a chamber beneath the floor.
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
We received the most recent update for this division from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

Swell (Expressive):
  • Chest Type(s): Direct electric chests
  • Position: In a chamber beneath the floor.
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
We received the most recent update for this division from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

Pedal (Expressive):
  • Chest Type(s): Direct electric chests
  • Position: In a chamber beneath the floor.
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
We received the most recent update for this division from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

Echo (Expressive):
  • Chest Type(s): Direct electric chests
  • Position: In a gallery-level case at the rear of the room.
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
We received the most recent update for this division from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

Choir (Expressive):
  • Chest Type(s): Direct electric chests
  • Position: In a chamber beneath the floor.
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
We received the most recent update for this division from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.
Atrium (Original; Updated):
  • Built by The Aeolian Co.
  • Manuals: 3
  • Divisions: 5
  • Stops: 27
  • Position: Console in fixed position, left.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with roll top.
  • Stop Controls: Tilting/rocking tablets on angled jambs.
  • Combination Action: Computerized/Digital system.
  • Combination Action Name: IOTI Virtuoso
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, AGO standard placement.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Crescendo Pedal
  • Has Tutti Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Toe Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Thumb Pistons
  • Has Coupler Reversible Toe Pistons
  • Has a Piston Sequencer
We received the most recent update for this console from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.
Jordan VanLare on March 04, 2022:

Earl Corder Sams was the president of J.C. Penney Stores Co. from 1914 to 1946. In 1927 Penney’s moved its headquarters to New York City and Mr. Sams elected to build a 12,000 sq. ft. Georgian colonial mansion in nearby New Rochelle, New York. As was the custom of the day for the ultra-wealthy, plans for the home included a large “player” pipe organ situated primarily in the basement with an Echo division positioned high in the dome of the grand elliptical foyer. The console and player mechanism are conveniently located in the entrance hallway just to the left of the foyer and adjacent to the music room. The console’s interior mechanism is enclosed in the custom cabinetry that is a part of the home giving it a built-in feel. Music from the organ is conveyed to various rooms of the home through a system of tone chutes originating in the basement and ending in decorative grilles in upstairs walls; a vital collaboration between the architect and organ builder.

The pipe organ, built-in 1927 as Opus #1654 by the famed Aeolian Organ Company, was installed in 1928 following the completion of the Sams mansion. The organ contains 27 ranks playable over five divisions (Swell, Great, Choir, Echo, and Pedal). The organ also includes a Duo-Art player mechanism.

Unfortunately, flooding in 2014 immersed the mechanism of the organ under several feet of water, ruining the electro-pneumatic wind chest mechanism, the wind pressure regulators, the remote combination system, and the remote paper-roll player mechanism.

Owners, Dr. Jordan and Jane VanLare, partnered with the talented team from Parsons Pipe Organ Builders of Canandaigua, New York, rebuild the instrument from 2014-2017.

The wind pressure regulators were duplicated, the windchests were replaced with a new, direct pallet style mechanism (the actions are viewable through new plexiglass service access covers) and the console was converted to electric action. A new solid-state control system allows for multiple levels of memory as well as the installation of a custom-designed computer that accurately reproduces over 800 of the original paper rolls. The Organ Computer Interface (OrCI) system was developed by the noted restoration firm of Nelson Barden & Associates in the 1990s to ensure the digital preservation of Aeolian and E.M. Skinner paper rolls. Sean O’Donnell, also a noted restorer, provided the hardware and technical expertise required for integrating this system into Opus 1654. The console is connected to the organ via fiber optic cable. The organ’s blower and motor, having been submerged, were completely restored.

Parsons also completed the repair of the Chimes and restoration of the Harp. The organ’s percussion is an important part of the instrument, used in many of the recordings. The all of the organ’s pipes have been completely cleaned, repaired, and returned to proper speech.

After these extensive repairs, the instrument has been returned to its former state of grandeur and sees daily use. While no longer operational, the original control mechanism was preserved and remains on site for historic insterest.

We received the most recent update for this note from Jordan VanLare on March 04, 2022.
Original specifications: Open In New Tab Verified at console Originally published October 24, 1927
We received the most recent update for this stoplist from Jordan VanLare on March 03, 2022.

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