Steinway Mansion

New York City, United States

Steinway Mansion

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The Steinway Mansion (also the Benjamin Pike, Jr. House) is a home on a one-acre hilltop in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City. It was built in 1858, originally on 440 acres (1.8 km2) on the Long Island Sound, by Benjamin Pike Jr., born in 1809, a noted manufacturer of scientific instruments located in lower Manhattan. After his death in 1864, his widow sold the mansion to William Steinway of Steinway & Sons in 1870. Jack Halberian purchased the Mansion in 1926 and upon his death in 1976, his son Michael Halberian began an extensive restoration. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building as a landmark in 1966, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The mansion was placed on sale after Michael Halberian's death in 2010. The property then was purchased by Sal Lucchese and Phil Loria in 2014 under the company The L Group. Parts of the surrounding land were then developed into commercial warehouses, leaving the mansion. At this point being almost 150 years old, the mansion was deteriorating quickly, with parts of the home beginning to fall apart. The mansion's owners began a massive restoration to return the mansion to its original glory. After that the grand balcony that had collapsed nearly a century earlier was perfectly reconstructed using old images of the home. All interior molding was then repaired and repainted, along with the decaying floorboards and walls. Other general renovations have taken place over time that would return the mansion to its 19th-century style. To pay homage to the Pike family and the Steinways, the mansion was decorated with a grand Steinway piano and numerous original 19th-century scientific instruments manufactured by the Pike company.

The Steinway Mansion is a large Italianate Villa style dwelling. The architect is unknown. It is constructed of granite and bluestone with cast iron ornamentation and has a two-story, T-shaped central section, with a slate covered gable roof. It has a one-story library, that is now an office, with a wing with large bay windows. It features a four-story tower topped by a balustrade and octagonal cupola. There are three porches supported by cast iron Corinthian order columns. There are five Italian marble fireplaces, pocket doors that hold original cut glass depicting many of Pike's 19th-century scientific instruments. The center main hall contains elaborate carved walnut balustrades, a two-story domed rotunda topped with a central stained glass skylight and 12-foot (3.7 m) ceilings throughout. There are three large underground cisterns designed to collect rain water from the roof for grounds irrigation and a 1000-gallon (3,800 l) copper tank in the attic to furnish the house with a pressurized water system for bath and kitchen use.

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