ORGANS OF PARIS © 2018 Vincent Hildebrandt HOME D-R
The construction of the church, from 1863 to 1865, is part
of the second stage of transformation of Paris. In this new
neighbourhood, the Protestants celebrated their services
in a wooden chapel, the chapel of Saint Lazare, which
soon proved too cramped. On the decision of Baron
Haussmann, in 1862, some land was bought on Rue
Roquépine. The construction project was entrusted to
Victor Baltard, architect of Les Halles, and the work was
carried out under the direction of Theodore Ballu. Victor
Baltard was not free to carry out his original project: the
Empress Eugénie imposed a neutral façade of a more
secular than religious character. The triangular pediment
was the only decorative element allowed. The belfry was
added at the beginning of the twentieth century. It recalls
the one that Baltard had built at Notre Dame de Lorette
(architect: Hippolyte Leon).
The organ of Temple Saint-Esprit was built by Merklin-
Schütze in 1865. It had 10 stops on two keyboards
including a Swell starting at tenor C and a short pulldown
pedalboard, coupled to the GO. Originally, the tribune
had the same width as the buffet with the console
detached at the edge of the balustrade.
In 1899, the tribune was extended by the addition of
oblique wings to provide more space for singers, while
the instrument was rebuilt by Charles Mutin. It now had
14 stops, including two pedal stops borrowed from the
GO. The Pedal counted 32 notes, which was very rare at
that time. The manual keyboards had 56 notes each.
In 1909, Mutin created additional space on the tribune by
repositioning the console to its current place under the
organ and placing the large bellows behind the
A general overhaul was carried out in 1971, without any
modifications to the instrument.
Since its definitive completion in 1909 the Merklin-Mutin
organ has had only one overhaul, a half-century ago,
compromised in the ensuing decades by the construction of
a new ceiling and major water damage in a heavy storm.
The city of Paris has designated it among a handful of
historical instruments particularly deserving of a restoration
today, and the parish is in search of arts patrons willing to
contribute to this project. Although the instrument is not
fully reliable in its present worn-down condition, it is
regularly maintained. The video’s are offered in the hope of
making its outstanding tonal qualities better known.