April 24, 2013
Antique Pipe Organ Returns to its Brookline Roots
The Church of Our Savior, located on Monmouth Street in Brookline, recently acquired a beautiful antique pipe organ that belonged to a descendant of the church’s founder. The organ was given to the Church after it was rescued from a New Orleans church demolished by Hurricane Katrina.
Our church was built by Amos. A. Lawrence in 1867. Lawrence was sort of the Bill Gates of wool. Hard to believe today, but back then, skilled labor was very inexpensive and there was no income tax, so a wealthy man could build a Gothic stone church like ours for about $60,000. And that’s furnished! Of course, there was also small pox, rampant infant mortality and a host of other social ailments and injustices, so perhaps it wasn’t all that gilded. Nonetheless, we are ever grateful for Mr. Lawrence’s largess and we sought an organ that would compliment his original vision of this building, which was, we believe, ‘to mirror an English country church.’ Of course, back then all of the Longwood section of Brookline was Mr. Lawrence’s farm, and Beacon Street into Boston was a narrow spit of land sometimes not accessible at high tide. But by the time our church was built, trains chuffed from Quincy night and day to fill in the Back Bay with earth.
At any rate, this Hook and Hastings organ was built in Boston and has now returned to Brookline. I think that would make Mr. Lawrence and the organ builders very pleased.
Joel M. Ives
Rector, Church of Our Savior