Friday, June 5, 2015

Steinway warehouse renderings revealed

From George the Atheist:


Anonymous said...

Where is Peter Vallone Sr. Why is he hiding? Our community wants to know what he has against kids - no not the Peter Vallone Scholarship that he wanted funded by tax payers and could not get his real estate buddies that are milking our community dry to cover, no we are talking about the Steinway Mansion and the education opportunities thrown away for some damn warehouses.

There was some real promise to bring our community forward. Schools, quality entertainment housing, a museum, tourists, a real destination. Don't you smell that damn sewage plant during the summer, or do you and your family vacation down at the Jersey shore to miss out on the fun?

Funny, you like your cronies the Pistillis, so why don't your family live in the nightmares like the Pistilli Grand Manor and the Pistilli River View East that are reviewed as among the worse places to live in Astoria?

We get collapsing infrastructure with trains packed to the gills because we wonder if you ever met developer (read campaign donor) that you could say no to?

We get shopping districts that blast loud music and drunken kids on Ditmars Steinway 30th Ave Steinway Streets where there use to be stores that had stuff the community actually wanted and needed. The cops don't come, and if people complain, they are told to move.

We get a community board totally out of touch with the community they serve, full of people we hardly know and packed with many who do not live here.

We get developers that intrude on our property, like that damn medical clinic - and where are your Mr Astoria, defending your community. No, you are MIA.

How about talking about your consulting firm? Whoops, we had better no go there. Nor are we going to discuss the extensive real estate your family is rumored to own.

But we can walk around Old Astoria, and see how you and your cohorts have mislead the community to tear down their priceless homes for a pittance so the developers can shoe horn even more into the community. The fact is lies, yes lies, have been told to people in Astoria while you and your son quietly voted to extend landmarking in the rest of the city while on City Council. We know that because one of our neighbors looked it up.

I am an old timer in Astoria, my family has been here for 70 years. i understand that things have to change, so don't even go there with me.

But I remember that Astoria was a damn good community, sure people were a little crazy around the edges, but it is solid, it was good, and it was NY's great secret. We were tight and we were proud of what little we had and we thought ourselves as among the luckiest people in the world.

Now you and your family took over, and look what we have become.

The final straw is rumors that they found bones buried in the Steinway property and sent them through a wood chipper? I do not know about that, but the fact that something like that could have happened I lay squarely at the feet of your and your clique.

The Steinway Mansion is a disgrace. You should be ashamed of yourself to have something like this happen. I do not know how you can walk down the streets of our community with everyone talking about what your family did (or did not do) to bring this black eye on our community.

People are starting to talk. And Mr Speaker, it ain't pretty what they are saying.

Anonymous said...

These buildings will be hotels for crack heads and worse. Just what the neighborhood needs.

georgetheatheist said...

Queens. Put your feet up, pop the beer tab, and get the popcorn. Watch as your heritage is slowly being eaten away.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Greater Astoria Historical Society?

Anonymous said...

why isn't all of this being brought to the TV News Attention -- someone ought to do something about it -- people should be rallying like crazy --

Anonymous said...

What an insult! Look at that crumby shit!
LOL! But this is what Queens has to offer.
We are the butt of every joke in the big apple.
Deservedly so!
Look out northeast Queens.
Another son of a Vallone, Paulie, will be screwing you soon too!

Ghost of Henry Z Steinway said...

Quick send this over to Michael Sweeney in Steinway Hall along with a note on complimenting him on his unique strategy to market the company name and image.

And while you are at it, send a copy over to his boss John Paulson with a note that he should request a conference on Micheal Sweeney to discuss said game plan for corporate image and marketing strategy.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Greater Astoria Historical Society?

The better question is where is Gianrais, Costa, Vallone (Sr & Jr), Simotas, Van Bramer, Crowley. (well we know Crowley is in Virginia probably taking his kids to a historic house museum near where he lives)

Anonymous said...

why isn't all of this being brought to the TV News Attention



Anonymous said...

It seems that GAHS should have been on the ball a decade ago. Johnny come lately gets no fish on his plate.
Most historical groups try to find a good buyer for threatened properties if they can't get cooperation from elected officials.
Less walking tours and lectures and more outreach to people with money.
Too little. Too late is the curse of well meaning historical organizations.
This is a builders' borough that cares little for preservation. Meanwhile they feed the coffers of political candidates well enough.
Check out Vallone, Van Bramer, etc. See where their money comes from.
There you have it in a nutshell or a Swiss bank account....the $$$$$$$$ that's not reported.

Anonymous said...

Plant a bamboo screen to block the view of the warehouses.
Plant a weeping garden to mourn the loss. My bad. Visitors won't have access.
It's private property. A good casino might encourage visitors.

Anonymous said...

This is really the Pike mansion, built by Benjamin Pike , an optical instrument maker.
The Steinways bought it and lived in it afterwards.

Anonymous said...

It seems that GAHS should have been on the ball a decade ago. Johnny come lately gets no fish on his plate

hey ghoul, they did and had the support of most of the politicians who backed out at the last minute and pulled the rug out from under them.

anyone that seems happy over this is a real sick bastard.

georgetheatheist said...

Dear Reader:

Something I bet alot of you don't even know. Billionaire John Paulson the new owner of Steinway & Sons was born, raised, and went to school (Bayside HS) right here in Queens. See this info (under Early life and education) on his Wikipedia entry here.

I would venture to guess that Mr. Paulson does not even know about the destruction of the Steinway site that you, dear Reader, have been witnessing on this blogsite over the past few days. Here is a man who speaks lovingly of the Steinway legacy. A brief (5:08) excellent video of him speaking about this legacy ("A Conversation with John Paulson") which you can access here.

Mr. Paulson, kind Sir, are you aware of the insane happenings - utter lunacy - at the Steinway Mansion site now, a slap in the face to your devotion and admiration to it's historical and aesthetic legacy?

Anonymous said...

Well if it becomes a welfare hotel, Loria and his crew should move in to the nice addition they are adding to the community. Crack heads and drug dealers to 20th Avenue here we come baby!

Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President said...

Why it says so in Lonely Planet: Queens, the World's Burro,, has felafel stands, massage parlors, and warehouse by the Steinway Mansion. Come and visit.

Here's the mic said...

Mary Anne Mrosinski, Executive Director of the King Manor historical site in Jamaica, along with Richard Werber, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Manor:

Can you imagine this construction obscenity occurring right next door to your historical building? Do you know that Gerald Caliendo,the architect of these purely utilitarian warehouses, is the Chairman of your Board of Directors?

Question. How can you have Mr. Caliendo lead your organization dedicated to preserving historical legacy on one hand, and on the other hand know that Mr. Caliendo is destroying historical legacy?

Why do you both continue to "hide under the sofa"? All of Queens is awaiting your explanation, please.

Anonymous said...


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will be having an intimate fundraiser with some of her top supporters on Monday, June 29th in Long Island City. Queens Democratic Party Chairman Congressman Joe Crowley and Council Member Danny Dromm will be there to show their support for Melinda- and we hope you will, too!

Details are copied below, but the events starts at 6:30pm and tickets start at $500/person. You can order tickets online by clicking here.

Please let me know if you'll be able to make it and I'll send along the address.

Thanks very much for your consideration and we hope to see you on the 29th!



Lisa Rossi
(212) 531-2858

Nasrallah Misk

With Special Guests

Congressman Joe Crowley &

Council Member Daniel Dromm

invite you to a reception to benefit

Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President

Monday, June 29th

6:30-8:00 PM

Long Island City address provided upon RSVP

Suggested Contributions:

Chair: $3,850 Sponsor: $1,000 Friend: $500

Please RSVP to Lisa Rossi at (212) 531-2858 or

Anonymous said...


Costa Constantinides, Council Member, NYC District 22
Michael Gianaris, Senator, NYS District 12
Melinda Katz, President, Borough of Queens
Marge Markey, Assemblymember, NYS District 30
Aravella Simotas, Assemblymember, NYS District 36
Nayelli Valencia, Director, Cultural Affairs & Tourism - Queens
Jimmy Van Bramer, Council Member, NYC District 26

<< Dear Queens, NY elected officials,

A 15-year resident of Astoria, I first stumbled across the Pike House/Steinway Mansion on that hill surrounded by a tangle of trees while wandering around the area in the early 2000s, and became intrigued by this hidden treasure. Through the years, I learned of the connection between Steinway pianos, the Steinway Factory, Steinway Street, old Steinway Village, various other buildings around the neighborhood (Steinway Church, the libraries, other factories), and the mansion - all right here in our own Astoria back yard. What a history trail! I was relieved to also learn that the then-owner of the mansion was interested in preserving - to the best of his ability - this legacy, and that the mansion was indeed a "New York City Landmark"... I thought that meant something. Until now.

It is simply beyond belief and words what is being allowed to happen to that formerly-green hill around the house. The destruction, digging and clearing of the land around this landmarked house is heartbreaking. Not only have we lost many historic homes in the Old Astoria Village area of our neighborhood, we are now losing the opportunity to have preserved this mid-1800s mansion and its yard, which could have meant so very much to the community.

When I moved to Astoria in early 2000 with my European husband, we were charmed by the "old-world" feel of Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, small shops and long-time restaurants, certain quiet tree-lined streets, the parks along the East River... and the Pike/Steinway mansion and all of its surrounding history. Since then, I, and many other residents, have truly hoped Queens would break out of its reputation and image of characterless or gaudy, tasteless structures, but Long Island City and Astoria are quickly following suit, becoming just that. Despite our personal distaste for the plethora of storage unit towers and sterile glass and steel apartments buildings going up seemingly everywhere, we realize development has to occur in a growing city, but with ALL of the other blocks and areas being developed in Astoria, that THIS special, historic home and plot of land on which it sits was not preserved, is appalling. Simply appalling. And heartbreaking.

Developers and big money: WIN AGAIN. Culture, history and community: EPIC, EPIC LOSS.

Signed, a truly disappointed citizen, resident, and voter,

DeeAnne P. Gorman

cc: Bill de Blasio, Mayor, City of New York
Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman, New York's 12th District
Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission

georgetheatheist said...

Dear esteemed Reader,

Think about it:

Last Wednesday, the philanthropist billionaire and new owner of Steinway & Sons, Mr.John Paulson, born, bred, and educated in Queens, gave $400 million to Harvard University.

Why did not the new owners of the Steinway Mansion, Messrs. Loria & Lucchese, PLUS the warehouse architect, Gerald Caliendo, along with other interested parties, approach Mr. Paulson with grandiose plans for the Mansion site instead of these unaesthetic plans, purposes, and designs that we are all now witnessing?

Why can't the mental midgets in Queens think BIG? Doesn't anyone in Queens have a brain?

Lonely Plant, Fodor, and Frommer said...

Melinda, can't wait for those warehouses to be completed. We're already signing folks up for the 2016 tours of them.

Anonymous said...

Ghoul? Indeed! Excuses, excuses, excuses. How come NOBODY ever heard of GAHS' spearheading efforts to save you claim....was decades ago? Liar, liar, pants on fire. You were all too busy kissing up to Pete Vallone Jr. for funding to pay your rent. No need to make any enemies. You are just another on e of those captive hysterical societies begging for bread.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like that "real sick bastard" might be telling the truth to warrant such an out of control comeback complete with name calling.
Whoa...somebody certainly has a guilty conscience about slacking off on doing their job.
Let the president of GAHS lord idea chronology listing what they have done for Steinway for ten years back.
Queens Crap awaits their official response.

Anonymous said...

Sticks and stones may break the bones of that "ghoul, sick bastard" GAHS critic , but it won't correct the fact that they could have done more than they did for Steinway. Maybe I'f GAHS was too caustic their landlord, Stamianedes, would have evicted them or trippled their rent. Hmmmm, puff on that for awhile.

Anonymous said...

It is not a matter of mental midgets thinking big, it's a matter of money.
Even multi multi millionaire Paulson,a Queens boy, passed over Queens and donated one hundred million dollars to preserve Central Park. Why?
Queens parks are a joke. Why should a smart investor waste money in Queens where it would likely wind up in some pockets at borough hall?

He bought the Steinway factory and kept the famed piano business in Queens.
Isn't that enough?
Where the fucking hell is Pete "junior" Vallone....too busy bopping his baloney?

georgetheatheist said...

Great architects of the world and representative structures they are associated with:

IMHOTEP . . . . . . . . . . . . The Step Pyramid

PHIDIAS & CALLICRATES . . . . . The Parthenon

MICHELANGELO . . . . . . . . . The Dome of St. Peter's

BRUNELLESCHI .. . . . . . . . . The Dome of the Cathedral of Florence

SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN . . . . . . St. Paul's Cathedral

THOMAS JEFFERSON . . . . . . . . The Campus of the University of Virginia

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT . . . . . . . .Fallingwater

I.M. PEI . . . . . . . . . . . . The Louvre Pyramid

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE . . . . . The Seagram Building

GERALD CALIENDO (aka "The Warehouse Wunderkind"). . . . . . . . . The Warehouses at the Steinway Historical site.

(This site is s-o-o-o educational.)

Jerry Rotondi said...

Queens is very desperate to save what little it has left , considering it is disappearing at an alarming rate.
Vallone should have joined hands with the Greater Astoria Historical Society in fighting to protect the legendary Steinway mansion from being desecrated as it is now. Shame on Vallone! What rock are you hiding under, and where?

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with these people. That ivy growing on the mansion is going to destroy the masonry joints and woodwork. Ivy grows these tines that dig in and do damage

Anonymous said...

If the owner, the late Mike Halberuan , cared so damn much he would have put in a deed restriction preventing all of this. He was a hustler burning the candle at both ends. So he got to pass away on the dining room table in the mansion while EMS workers tried to save him. This is a very sad end to a very sad story. Rest in peace Mike....sincerely. If you have the power to come and haunt the Vallone family....please do so!

Winston Churchill said...

Enough of the jaw-jaw. Time for war-war.

Anonymous said...

Vallones probably told him he would get top dollar if he went along with their scheme with the St Michaels land swap. He got wise when they started to low ball him. Then he drops dead.

I bet the same thing will happen with the Lawrence Cemetery and the Lent - Riker House. People 'too smart' to listen to solid advice.

Edward Thirlwall said...

That warehouse most certainly looks massive and it can definitely accommodate any nature of business there that requires an abundant floor area like a self storage facility or a retail space.