The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Astoria's Historic Steinway Mansion Sells for $2.65M to 'Local Guys'

 The Steinway Mansion, at 18-33 41st St. in Astoria.
The Steinway Mansion, at 18-33 41st St. in Astoria.
View Full Caption
Gary Vollo

ASTORIA — The Steinway Mansion, a sprawling property that once belonged to the famous piano-making family, has been sold to two men from the neighborhood, according to the broker and local pols.

The 27-room mansion closed Friday for $2.65 million, according to Lauren Cornea of Amorelli Realty, who represented both the seller and the buyer in the deal, along with brokers Paul and Christina Halvatzis.

Cornea identified the purchasers only as Steinway Mansion LLC, and said that while she isn't aware of their future plans for the site, the mansion's landmarked status means the historic house will remain intact.

"The property is landmarked on a federal, state and city level, so it cannot be knocked down. It can't even be altered without permission from Landmarks, so it is heavily protected," she said. "It will always remain the Steinway Mansion."

A local group had been pushing to buy the mansion to turn it into a museum, but it is not clear what the building will be used for. However one local pol indicated that the new owners are receptive to the idea of public use.

The mansion, located at 18-33 41st St. not far from the Steinway & Sons piano factory, has been on the market since 2010, according to the brokers.

It belonged to the Steinways from the end of the 19th century until the 1920s, when it was purchased by the Halberian family, who owned it for the decades after.

"Saying goodbye to a family homestead for almost 90 years is very sad, and I hope the mansion lives on forever," said Michele Kazarian, daughter of late owner Michael Halberian, who said the new owners have promised to "maintain the integrity of the house."

"That was a key issue for me, and they said they would," she said.

Local preservationists and elected officials have pushed for a community use for the mansion, forming a coalition last year called The Friends of Steinway Mansion which sought to rally support to acquire the property and turn it into a museum or cultural center.

"We're disappointed that we were not able, at this time, to get the mansion," said Bob Singleton, who heads the Greater Astoria Historical Society and who helped form Friends of Steinway Mansion.

"However, we are very much interested in meeting with the new owners and discussing the opportunity of possibly doing some public programming," at the space, he said.

City Councilman Costa Constantinides said he has met with the mansion's new owners, whom he described as "two local guys," who grew up in Astoria and who are open to the idea of a public use for the house.

"They're very interested in working with the community to see this property become part of the fabric of the neighborhood," he said.