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Just in: Steinway Hall is sold

The piano manufacturer has sold its stake in the West 57th showroom, the world’s number one address for piano display since 1925.

It makes $46 million on the deal.

There is vague talk of a replacement, somewhere in Manhattan. Don’t hold your breaths.

Steinway-Hall

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Comments

  1. They’re about 1/3 owned, today, by Samick. Their CEO used to head that great musical organization, Starbucks.

    Maybe they’ll bring back teflon bushings?

    A Fortune 500 CEO friend used to say that businessmen were wont to check their brains along with their hats when they entered the board rooms of not-for-profit organizations. Seems that observation has consumed the world of musical organizations. Need we mention, again, the horrors going on in Minnesota?

    There’s so much heritage in that grand old building that it should have been, long ago, declared a national historic landmark.

    Maybe Fazioli or Bechstein or Bosendorfer will rent the space now and use its (alleged; I don’t know) underground tunnels to get THEIR pianos into Carnegie Hall just a few doors down and across the street.

    Shame on Steinway.

  2. Tragic.

  3. Dr. Marc Villeger says:

    So much history happened in this building… the end of an epoch.

  4. Marshall says:

    There seem to be some differing dollar figures on the sale price, because of the ownership of the land as separate from the building-as earlier articles on this had reported-but whatever the details it’s a sad day. NYC is a relentless consumer of its own past-one of the least appealing qualities of this city-which is always about money. 57th street which really had a kind of elegance is going to have this enormous 1000 ft building and so it goes. Not a city to be nostalgic about-the chances are that what you had fond memories of will not still be there-so different from the European approach-even if they just keep the facades.

    They have a right to occupy the showroom for about another year and half-but they don’t sound even eager to do that-and with the price of Manhattan real estate there won’t be another showroom. I wonder how its landmark designation will impact what happens to it?-there is a large plaque on the building.

    I have early childhood memories of being shown the Steinway Hall, and being intrigued by the curved glass display windows-which if kept clean created a splendid illusion of no glass. In fact not that long ago tickets for Carnegie always included a visit to Patelson’s (gone), a walk by Steinway, maybe after the concert browsing in, what was it called? it was there for a million years-Columbus Circle bks.-(gone)

    But let’s not even begin to go through what NYC has destroyed of itself-better than it used to be-but I remember Penn Station-before they replaced it with a Trailways bus station.

    You expected Steinway Hall to always be there-a memorial in its way to all the great pianists associated with it.

  5. I expect they’ll decide they need a showroom somewhere in Manhattan. The high-end customers who’ll want to look at Steinway’s high-end pianos probably won’t go all the way out to the factory in Astoria, especially since the factory is a long walk from the last subway stop on the N train.

  6. Keith Gardner says:

    I’ll miss it too! I attended only two recitals there, but just walking by the place, or through it, with its collection of marvelous instruments, would bring up something more than nostalgia in me; something that made me feel that maybe humans aren’t so bad after all. For this to be lost to future generations means that they will have to get that somewhere else. Not sure where that would be…

  7. Carole Isseks Bailis says:

    I have such wonderful memories of the trips I took to Steinway Hall when buying our piano. The staff was beyond courteous, their patience never flagging as it took 4 visits before I found “the one” downstairs in the basement. Our salesman knew what I would buy before I did. He left me to spend quality time, playing as much and as many as I required while he & my husband adjourned to another room. He confided to my husband that he could tell that I’d end up with an L even though I had come there expecting to buy an M. He was right! There are very few places in this country where the term “deluxe service” really applies and the 57th St. showroom made that list. It saddens me to see this wonderful place sold, never again to display its elegance.

  8. Very sad.

  9. Marilyn Macron says:

    A wrenching loss

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