Friday, February 11, 2011

City not interested in Steinway Mansion

From the NY Times:

In Astoria, there has been talk of getting the city to buy the mansion. Peter Vallone Jr., the City Council member from the neighborhood, whose grandfather played pinochle with Michael Halberian when they were young, said proudly that the city’s parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, had paid a visit last fall.

Don’t count on a deal with the city. One requirement is an organization that could run it as a public museum or cultural center. Another is money. “Currently the city does not have the funding for and is not pursuing the acquisition of this property,” a parks department spokeswoman, Vickie Karp, said.

Mr. Vallone is not giving up.

“I’ve reached out to the mayor’s office and asked for good dates in the near future,” he said. “He has to see it. Anyone who walks in falls in love with the place.”


georgetheatheist said...

Not to worry. The Federal Government will include this structure in the forthcoming Steinway National Historic District (along with the piano factory and Steinway Street). Congressswoman Maloney and Senators Shumer and Gillibrand will see to the District's fruition.

You can all relax.

Anonymous said...

Are we in the business of buying and maintaining historic houses because they're there? Not on my dime. Where are the Steinway family - they are not sentimental are they?

Anonymous said...

Give it to the Greater Astoria Historical Society - and have public opinion force the local politicans (who seem to have pockets with no limits when it comes to supporting development) give something that benefits the people in the community.

Vallone, Gianaris, Samotas, Maloney, front and center!

If this was Bayside or Brooklyn or just about anywhere else it would be a no brainer.

If the community loses this house and its collection the blame would be at their feet.

Snake Plissskin said...

Are we in the business of buying and maintaining historic houses because they're there? Not on my dime.

Hell no. All of our money goes to giving tax breaks to new development.

Anonymous said...

How about Pistilli and the other developers get together and donate it to the community?

Anonymous said...

Of course not....the city's far too interested in wasting $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
for those jerky hazardous bike lanes!

Anonymous said...

Give it to Greater Astoria Historical Society?

What a laugh!
Now I've got to change my trousers!

Anonymous said...

The Steinway family was never interested.

Then perhaps everyone should consider approaching their piano manufacturing competitor Yamaha!

I guess not....for the Japanese are in their own deep financial crap these days to take on such a white elephant.

It'll first get ravaged for its architectural artifacts...then torn down like the rest of Queens' history.

Anonymous said...

Its not in Manhattan. Of course they are not interested in it.

Mike the bike B said...

A property that can house 100's of people can be built on that property. people. The more people in Queens the bigger pool and more federal and local money we have for the city.
The city doesn't need single family homes in the outer Burroughs. It needs more people.

Relax its only Queens the city's doing fine and that's what counts. If you don't like or cant take a hint it move away before I mow you down.

Mike B

Joe said...

Yamaha Japan ?

Not any more, its all made in China. And Yamaha's goal is to buy out EVERYBODY.
The Anahiem NAMM show has become a joke, 1/2 the stuff in the convention center is owned by Yamaha. They are even trying to buy Marshall amplification and Music Man since Ernie Ball died (RIP)

Yamaha make's stuff super cheap, real garbage that breaks just looking at it. You then have to throw it away or go to a dealer to order extremely expensive proprietary parts.
The PC boards, pots, jacks and CPU's go bad just outside the warranty period . You then have to pay $300 for a CPU or audio board + labor that would normally cost $60

Anonymous said...

No Taxpayer money should be spend on land marking any privately owned property , no matter what it is. Mansion's, church's, or movie theater's .

Anonymous said...

So what?

Most of Radio Shack's, Sears' (great old American companies LOL), etc. crap comes from China.

The great American sell out.

Anyway we are talking just YAMAHA PIANOS which are rather good...not as good as (let's say) a Baldwin...which by now is probably made in China now too.

Anonymous said...

Joe...I'm being a music maven from the sound of it...what does a Steinway baby grand, for example, go for these days?

Who can afford one?

Anonymous said...

What have Mike Halberian's heirs got in mind for the future of the mansion?

Any word?

Joe said...

The average decent playing 60's to 90's **Stienway** Baby grand is worth between 8,000-$15,000 (real money) in Jan 2011 economy. (

They are almost 1/3 less of what they WERE WORTH 2 years ago depending on condition.
Older ones sitting around from the the 60's usually need super expensive work only highly skilled people know how to do these days.
pianos are not like guitars and have 100's of moving wood, felt and cowhide parts that simply, warp go bad with age and climate changes in the household.

There are over 3 for sale in Manhasset/Port Washington where old people are going broke from taxes children and Grandchildren not also not interested (they all want I Pads and game toys)
"Craigslist"----F*ing_ing sad.

Also a couple dozen on Ebay right now, they are not selling.
I and SO LUCKY I didn't listen to friends and dumped some vintage guitars and classic Marshall stacks I used in the 80's 5 years ago.
I'd have lost my shirt and pants

Anonymous said...

Steinway makes 3% of the world's pianos and 99% of the recording and concert artists use them.

The company is profitable even in this economic climeate.

There is a certain tier in life that is bullet proof to economic conditions.

scavenger said...

Yummy....when is the auction?

I want to buy those Benjamin Pike etched glass panels depicting optical instruments!

Anonymous said...

Thanks's about what I thought they'dbe worth.

I went on a tour of the Steinway factory.

What a level of craftsmanship.

Even though Steinway pianos lost a little value...last year's "I-pod" ain't worth shit.

Me...I'd rather invest in irreplaceable craftsmanship when I can afford it.

Anonymous said...

Vallone is the wild card in the mix - his plan A fell apart like a pack of cards.

If its saved - or gets trashed like the rest of his neighborhood (look at what his ilk did to the old Stinway Factory on Ditmars) remains to be seen.

Enough of this already.

The big question is this: is he willing to listen to advice or be part of the problem rather than the solution?

If its gets trashed you can bet your bottom dollar the blame will get laid at Vallone's feet.

Anonymous said...

If its saved - or gets trashed like the rest of his neighborhood (look at what his ilk did to the old Stinway Factory on Ditmars)
You mean the Pisilli building that now has the community board in its grip with a 10 year lease?

People claim after 5 years only part full with exterminators called after the 3rd tenant?

Naw, don't believe any of this, do you?