In the News: Astoria group sets music fest in bid to raise $2M to buy historic Steinway Mansion

The performances — beginning Saturday at the SingleCut brewery a few blocks from the mansion — will be held at venues near the landmark house. Melodic rockers Dru Cutler And The Heart & Hand Band will play the opening set.

BY IRVING DEJOHN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013, 9:07 PM

A group of local activists and artists will launch an eight-event music festival on Saturday, marking the opening bars of their bid to buy the historic Steinway Mansion on 41st St.

It’s the first stanza in a fast-tempo symphony to save a historic Queens house.

A group of local activists and artists will launch an eight-event music festival on Saturday, marking the opening bars of their bid to buy the historic Steinway Mansion on 41st St.

“We’re raising the community’s awareness on the treasure of this building and the incredible past that it represents,” said Bob Singleton, founder of the Friends of Steinway Mansion.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion has already garnered the support of local elected officials and the piano makers, but still needs to raise $1.9 million to buy the house

Singleton’s group has already garnered the support of local elected officials and the piano makers, but still needs to raise $1.9 million to buy the house.

The group shelled out cash to become a registered non-profit — but the slate of events represents its first concerted fund-raising push, members said.

The home is a city landmark, which means it can’t be torn down, but the future of the sprawling interior will depend on who purchases the property.

The performances — beginning Saturday at the SingleCut brewery a few blocks from the mansion — will be held at venues near the landmark house. Melodic rockers Dru Cutler And The Heart & Hand Band will play the opening set.

Subsequent gigs will feature jazz crooner and poet DeeAnne Gorman, who’ll play at Rest-au-Rant in October, Singleton said.

“This is going to be a continuous thing until we purchase the mansion,” Singleton said. “This place should be saved.”

The group wants to make the mansion and cultural attraction and education venue for his group the Greater Astoria Historical society and the Artisans Guild of America.

The mansion, originally a summer home for the family of piano manufacturers, has been owned by the Halberian family since 1924.

Michael Halberian lived in the mansion his whole life until he died at age 83 in 2010. After his death, the contents of the home were auctioned off and the property, put up for sale.

The estate’s executrix, Michele Kazarian, previously told The News that she wants to see the home preserved — but cannot afford to keep it due to the high cost of maintenance and its tax bill.

The home is a city landmark, which means it can’t be torn down, but the future of the sprawling interior will depend on who purchases the property.

Singleton’s group wants to make the mansion and cultural attraction and education venue for his group the Greater Astoria Historical society and the Artisans Guild of America.

Kazarian could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

For information, visit SteinwayMansion.org.

Friends of Steinway Mansion Music Festival kickoff at SingleCut Brewery, 19-33 37th St. in Astoria, Sept. 28, 6 p.m.

idejohn@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/music-fest-bid-save-steinway-mansion-article-1.1466603#ixzz2fuikebJz

 

Share

One Comment on “In the News: Astoria group sets music fest in bid to raise $2M to buy historic Steinway Mansion

  1. Note: The $1.9 million fundraising goal was a mistake in an otherwise marvelous Daily News article. The Friends of Steinway Mansion wants to purchase the Mansion and the surrounding grounds.

    The Friends website gives the correct figure: http://steinwaymansion.org/faq/

    The fundraising effort has two distinct goals:

    – An estimated five million dollars is needed to purchase the mansion and the surrounding grounds.

    – An estimated four million dollars is needed for the mansion’s restoration. This effort will take at least five years.

    Thank you,
    The Friends of Steinway Mansion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *