Today’s news:

Landmarked Steinway Mansion sold to unidentified buyer

The Steinway Mansion, which has been up for sale since 2010, is under contract, according to Bob Singleton.
TimesLedger Newspapers

The historic Steinway Mansion has a buyer. The landmarked Astoria home, built by the legendary piano-making Steinway family in 1858, has been on the market since 2010. Bob Singleton, the executive director of Friends of Steinway Mansion and the Greater Astoria Historical Society, said, “The mansion is under contract and there really is nothing else to say.”

The Friends of Steinway, a group of individuals, businesses, government officials and community groups, tried to raise a total of $9 million to buy the home and its grounds in order to restore the mansion to its former glory.

The mansion was owned by the Halberian family since 1924. Michael Halberian lived in the home at 18-33 41st St. his entire life. After his death in 2010 the family put the house up for sale. Michele Kazarian, the executor of the estate, confirmed that the mansion has been under a pending contract for several months.

“It’s been a very difficult time for me and my family, but yes, there is a buyer. We wanted to sell it to the city for the longest time, but we just had to move on,” Kazarian said.

The buyer was not identified and the price of the sale was not disclosed.

Former Councilman Peter Vallone said the Halberian family and the daughter Michele had tried to do the right thing for Queens by paying taxes on an empty property for so long.

“I tried for years to get the city to buy it and it’s an abject failure that they didn’t buy it and make it a part of the Historic House Trust of New York City,” said former Councilman Peter Vallone, “I don’t fault the family or the private buyer, but I certainly do blame the city.”

Vallone added that the building cannot be torn down because of its landmark status and he hopes that the new buyer will give the public access to the historic home in some fashion. “Maybe they can make it a restaurant or a catering hall. I just hope they don’t wall it off and deny the people of Queens such a treasure.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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