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Stack’s Bowers Galleries Bids Farwell to Historic Steinway Hall

When Stack’s decided to move after its long stay on New York’s 46th Street, we selected a location on  57th Street, a few feet away from the legendary Steinway Hall – showrooms of the most important piano maker in America.

Now after being a neighbor on the street for over six decades (1953 to 2015), the fabulous showroom and offices of Steinway Pianos (at this location for 90 years) are moving to another location in New York. 

Their showroom was unique to New York.  On the street side passersby felt, even while in the street looking in, that they had already entered the showroom to see the vast number concert pianos on display.  There was a deeply curved glass show window, which curved into the showroom from top to bottom. Standing before it gave the illusion of being inside. That show window attracted many people to the street to visit this landmark.

Stack’s location was a few feet from Steinway Hall, and we all  enjoyed the company of Carnegie Hall on our western corner, the Calvary Baptist Church near by, and a number of fine art showrooms on our street.  The famous Russian Tea Room was diagonally across the street and, when we first moved there in 1953, one of the last Horn and Hardart restaurants was nearby. (It was still standing at the turn of the century.) That too was an important landmark for the city, as it has be rebuilt and included in the Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, the only restaurant so preserved. 

Steinway Hall was first built in 1925 before the Great Depression by the same architects who designed the fabulous Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The unusual curved glass window greeted visitors to New York and inside was a grand  Beaux Arts  rotunda, with crystal chandeliers, imported Italian  marble, frescoes on the ceiling and painted portraits on the walls.

Around the halls were the Steinway art collection, and over the years one could find Anton Rubinstein, Franz Liszt and, more recently, Billy Joel playing one of the grand pianos. Behind a metal door, great pianists met. For example, Rachmaninoff and Horowitz met there for the first time. This is where artists came to select their instruments for performance in New York.

It was near this cherished landmark that Stack’s opened its shop on 57th Street in 1953, the location we still enjoy.  Stack’s installed bronze doors to their shop as well as bronze framing for the large show windows In these windows Stack’s displayed  important numismatic items for the public passing by to view and contemplate. In addition we paneled the walls in wood and decorated the shop with special posters and large  bronze statues honoring famous people. We had many books for sale and close to 50  feet of sit-down showcases displaying more coins for sale.  Steinway Hall set the tone for the area and we were proud to maintain this tone for visitors to Stack’s.

Steinway Piano Company is moving  to a new location some 12 blocks south of 57th Street. The building is being torn down, but the entrance and showroom will  remain as a landmark, above which will be erected a  new condominium. Stack’s Bowers Galleries will miss our neighbor who we have cherished for over six decades. They brought charm and distinction to the street and they will be hard to replace.

We therefore wish them a fond farewell, and wish them the best as they continue their worldwide leadership in the making of fine pianos.

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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

info@stacksbowers.com
 

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

infohk@stacksbowers.com

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