- Posted by Bill Arnold
- On March 29, 2016
- 0 Comments
Organ in the Albany NY Masonic Temple
J. W. Steele organ in the Albany NY Masonic temple. I’m playing a bit of Handel’s March from Saul, and the Missionary Chant. First you hear the Great full organ, then the Great without the Clarinet, Trumpet and Diapason. Using the mechanical foot combination pedals you’ll hear the loud and soft combinations on both manuals, and at the end full organ with the manuals coupled. This doesn’t do justice to the soft stops but gives some idea of the instrument. I’m a pretty lousy organist.
The Albany Masonic Temple in Albany, New York sits on the oldest property continuously owned by Masonry and the building that it replaced on the same property was the first Masonic Temple to be built for that sole purpose. It is a contributing property to the Downtown Albany Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
British army officers during the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian Wars) is considered to have been the impetus for the creation of a local lodge in Albany. The soldiers were a part of a military lodge that was organized in 1737 under the auspices of the Irish Registry, they met in Albany in 1758 and when they left certain members of the local populace who had joined the Masonic order were allowed to continue to meet and recruit for the Order until they could get own charter as a lodge. In 1765 they were made the Union Lodge #1 and in 1766 they were given the deed to a lot on the corner of Maiden Lane and Lodge Street by the city. The cornerstone of the first Temple on this site was laid the next year in 1767, with the Temple being dedicated in 1768. Prior to this meetings were held at Richard Cartwright’s Southside Inn. After the US Revolutionary War the lodge gave up its charter and was reorganized as Mount Vernon Lodge #3 in 1807.
The Temple is the site of meetings for five different lodges. Mount Vernon Number 3, the former Union Number 1, is the oldest lodge in the state of New York outside of the city of New York and meets at the Temple. The Guttenburg Lodge Number 737, founded in 1873 as a German language speaking lodge moved to the Temple when it was built in 1896, from their location at the WM Whitney Building, dropping German for English in 1900. The Wadsworth Lodge Number 417 has met in the Temple from the founding of the current in building in 1896, having been founded in 1856 and having different meeting places throughout Downtown Albany prior to that. Masters Lodge #5 also meets at the Albany Temple.