In 1863 the firm of E. and G.G. Hook,
then located near Roxbury Crossing, built a pipe organ
for the Church of the Immaculate Conception, itself but two years old.
The instrument, of 3 manuals and pedal, boasted 47 speaking stops. The
press of the time received the new organ with great enthusiasm, comparing
it quite favorably to the new German organ, by the Walcker firm, which
had been dedicated in the Boston Music Hall only three months prior to
the opening concert on the Hook.
Take a tour
Some stops prepared for in the original
plan and construction, including the 32’ Contra Bourdon of the Pedal, were
added in the following years. Major rebuilding and expansion of the organ
were undertaken in 1902:
- The assisted mechanical action was replaced
by an electropneumatic action.
- manual and pedal compass were extended (to
61-30); the pipework was re-pitched to the lower orchestral standard of
- a new console, facing the organ, replaced the original console,
which had faced the altar.
- A fourth manual division, the Solo,
was added, featuring some of the more Romantic voices that had recently
In the 1902 rebuilding, the tonal character
of original part of the organ was little changed from its 1863 sound, and
the voicings of all the pipework has remained substantially unaltered from
1902 til the present, providing us with a remarkable musical heritage.
There have been, over the years, significant changes in the winding system
and the combination action, and in the stop mechanisms, both at the console
and at the chests.
Time has taken its toll on this venerable
organ. A team of experts on the organs of the Hooks has been advising us on appropriate
stewardship of this musical treasure, that its sounds may continue, for
many years to come, to edify and inspire us all and to give eloquent praise
Telephone: (617) 536-8440
Fax: (617) 536-2142
Copyright 2001 - 2003 Jesuit Urban Center - All Rights