DITMARS — A group trying to buy and restore the sprawling Steinway Mansion is turning to the very thing that made the landmarked Astoria building famous in the first place — music.
The Friends of Steinway Mansion will kick off a series of live concerts beginning Saturday to raise awareness and funds to turn the former home of the famous piano-making family into a museum and community space, the group announced.
"Using music to raise awareness for the plight of the Steinway Mansion was frankly a no-brainer," Bob Singleton, executive director of Greater Astoria Historical Society, said in a statement.
"The Steinways revolutionized modern music and modern New York," he continued. "The Steinway Mansion Music Fest pays homage to both legacies and appropriately launches our fundraising effort to save the Mansion."
The 27-room villa, which sits atop a hill at 18-33 41st St., was built in the 1850s and was home to the Steinway family from the end of the 19th century until 1925. It was declared a New York City landmark in 1967, and has been up for sale for the past several years.
The Friends of Steinway Mansion want to open the building up to the public and estimate they will need around $5 million to purchase the house and its surrounding grounds, and then another $4 million to restore it.
The group is appealing to local residents, businesses, corporations and politicians to help them in their mission, and the music festival aims to help them get publicity for the cause.
The concert series will start Sept. 28 at Astoria's SingleCut Beersmiths at 19-33 37th St. with a rally and march to the nearby mansion taking place at 6 p.m., followed by a performance from The Dru Cutler and The Heart and Hand Band at the brewery at 8 p.m.
Concerts will continue through October and November at different bars and venues throughout Astoria, with a total of nine shows planned. The events are free, with donations to The Friends of Steinway Mansion accepted.