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OHNY - The Steinway Settlement

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Sun Oct 18 2015, 12:00 pm

OHNY – The Steinway Settlement

After Steinway & Sons Piano left Manhattan about 1870, they created the “Steinway Settlement,” as the neighborhood was called, around their factory and the Steinway Mansion, the summer home of President William Steinway.

Open to all, this was no company town, but a Utopian community that had model housing, one of the earliest kindergartens in the country and a library that was the cornerstone to the Queens Library, our nation’s largest. They built a post office, fire house, schools, churches, stores, and North Beach, a summer resort.

In every respect, it was a complete community.

Here was born the piano as we know it.

But to build and sell their product, Steinway & Sons also created the first modern global corporation and had a major role in making New York City the entertainment capital of the world.

Linking their community to the outside world triggered their other great contribution our city: a deep involvement in transportation that played a major role in the creation of the New York of today.

Their streetcar network knitted disparate local hamlets from Hunters Point to Flushing into the Borough of Queens.

The crucial role in creating rail and subway networks made possible the modern City of New York.

Their amusement park, North Beach, was purchased by the city for LaGuardia Airport.

We will see history.

On the tour is the former location where, through their partnership with Gottlieb Daimler, the Steinways built engines that brought the Automobile Age to this country – a decade before Henry Ford started tinkering with cars.

This will be only one of some 40 places of interest on the tour.

The community was lost after it was absorbed by New York City.

This summer, a group of interns under the supervision of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, poured over maps and photos to recreate the outline of the forgotten Steinway Settlement.

This will be the first opportunity to walk its streets since the late nineteenth century, the days of William Steinway.

Led by Kevin Walsh of the Forgotten NY, the legendary website that was voted by the Guides Assoc. of NY as the best blog in 2015.

This will be the 100th Walking Tour of Forgotten NY.

Time: about 2 1/2 hours

Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, there will be plenty of walking.

Meet up: By Reservation Only!

Open House New York will release the list of participating sites in late September/early October, a few days before reservations open.

They don’t have an exact date for the schedule release yet, but Reservation Day is set for Wednesday, October 7th.

All Advance Reservation tours open for signups at 11:00 AM, sharp.

Questions? Email astorialic@gmail.com for info!