Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral Henry Erben Organ
Henry Erben of New York City built the Old Patrick’s Cathedral organ. Erben installed the organ in 1866-1868 in a Gothic style case made of black walnut. According to NYCAGO, the organ has greatly benefited from a lack of work and renovation over the years. According to NYCAGO “Neglect has been this organ’s best friend-not much has been done to it, and it is an exceptional survivor from that age. The organ is the only example of an original, extant three-manual Erben, and is a jewel of organ building in New York City.”
According to the The Encylopedia of Keyboard Instruments: The Organ, Erben (1800-1884) was the foremost American organ builder of the second and third quarters of the 19th century. His quality of workmanship and materials were second to none. He was the son of an organist of Saint John’s Chapel and built organs from 1824 until his death in 1884. He built approximately 150 organs in New York, the most famous and largest at Trinity Church in 1846. However, because his clientele was wealthy and could afford to replace organs, only a few of his organs exist. Only two of his three-manual organs exist, Old Saint Patrick’s and Trinity Methodist in McLean, Virginia.