Historical Restoration

St. Stephen’s Church
Syracuse, NY

A small tracker organ at St. Stephen’s Church in Syracuse, NY has been completely restored by us to mint condition. This work included repairs to the bellows, wind conduits, traction, keyboards and pipework. The use of modern materials was strictly avoided, in order to keep the character of this organ as close to the original as possible. The amount of work done was staggering, but we know that at the end of the job this instrument is ready to serve for many, many years into the future. It is a real treasure of an instrument!

This organ was built by brothers E. & G. G. Hook of Boston in 1882 as their Opus 1070. The firm of Hook brothers was undoubtedly a top organbuilding establishment in the US for over 100 years, established in 1829 and active until 1935.

Obviously, since St. Stephen’s parish was established in 1915, the instrument was built for another church – the Baptist Church of Ogdensburg, NY, and later moved to its present location by the same firm. It is, by all means, a historical instrument listed with the Organ Historical Society as an organ worthy of preservation. Instruments like this one are rare, being a valuable asset not just to parishioners of St. Stephen’s, but to the people and the art community of the entire central New York.

Having said that, our approach to the repair of this instrument was completely different in nature than any other one we did in the past. A historical instrument like this one needed to be restored in a fashion that is true to the period in which it was built – utilizing the same materials and the same methods as used by the builders during its creation. It would have been literally an act of historical vandalism if this instrument were treated in any other way. We feel very strongly that we should do everything in our power to preserve the treasures of the past in order to build a future for the society that is so little concerned with arts and culture in the broad sense of these terms.