1885 H. L. Roosevelt Pipe Organ
The Roosevelt Family of New York State, noted for producing two presidents, also produced two brothers who were well known in the music world. Hilborne and Frank Roosevelt operated the Roosevelt Organ Works from 1872 to 1893. Hilborne is especially remembered as having made great advances in organ design and improved tonal quality, hallmarks of organ building in the early 20th century.
In 1887 the Roosevelt Organ Works installed an organ at St. Dominic's Church, tuning it especially for the superb acoustics of its intended space. Even now, it is tonally unchanged more than a century later, thus making it a rarity among the very few surviving Roosevelt organs left today. Originally it was a tracker organ but in the 1920's the tracking action was replaced by an electro-pneumatic action. Around this same time the pipes were reconfigured from a tall narrow case to instead conform to the shape of the Rose Window (that Rose Window shows St. Cecilia surrounded by six angels playing cymbals, viola, lute, trumpet, and harps).