On Sunday afternoon of this week, I had the pleasure and opportunity to photograph Immaculate Conception Church (also known as St. Mary’s) in Yonkers, New York. I am grateful to Msgr. Hugh J. Corrigan for allowing me full access throughout this magnificent building while it was otherwise closed to the public. I also had he chance to photograph a set of fresco paintings that were recently uncovered during a renovation of the parish’s old church building, which was converted to a parish hall when this building was completed in 1892. All told, I spent about 2 hours and have a lot of images to process and eventually present.
The parish website has a wonderfully informative page about the building. Here are a couple of quoptes, first about the building in general and then regarding the organ you see here:
Our present church structure, completed in 1892, is our second church. The first church was built in 1848 and was one of the first of 700 churches that Patrick C. Keeley designed for the Catholic Church in the United States. When our present church was opened, the first church was transformed into our Parish Hall.
Our church building and rectory (1899) is in the Romanesque style, specifically called Richardsonian Romanesque. Our architect, Lawrence J, O’Connor, took his inspiration form Henry Hobson Richardson, considered one of the greatest American architect at that time. The main blocks of stone are rough-hewn sandstone. The larger stones are brown and the smaller ones have a reddish tone to them. They were cut from quarries in Belleville in Newark, New Jersey. The trimming is red sandstone imported from England. The church tower is 160 feet high and encloses twelve bronze bells, cast in 1911, by Meneely Bell Co. of Troy, N.Y. The largest bell weighs five thousand pound[s].
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The Organ was installed in 1906 by Odell and Co. of Yonkers. Its has five divisions: Great (13 Stops with 854 pipes), Swell (13 Stops with 962 pipes), Choir (8 stops with 499 pipes), Pedal (10 Stops with 192 pipes), and the Echo (seven stops with 415 pipes).
The stained glass windows, including the beautiful Rose Window shown above (one of 3 Rose Windows in the church) are the work of the George Boos Studio in Munich, Germany.
The is not a cathedral, basilica or shrine. It is a regular parish church in Yonkers, NY. It is the church I attended while growing up (and it has spoiled me for almost every church I visited since). In December 2009 I visited the church during regular hours, with out a tripod, and captured this image which Msgr. Corrigan found while searching the web. He contacted me, and this eventually led to that image appearing on the church website (it is currently part of a slide show on the front page) and hanging in the church rectory office. It also led eventually to the opportunity I had on Sunday.
I could go on, but I’ll try to save some gushing and more info for future images.