Steinway Place, Queens, New York, 11105. steinway.com or 718-721-2600.
It all begins with bare wood, rough and fragrant.
Skilled craftsmen then use muscle, fine motor skills and magic to transform simple planks into magnificent instruments. In the bridge-notching process, the “bellymen” use tools they’ve constructed themselves, the better to execute this highly skilled operation.
Alaskan Sitka Spruce becomes a soundboard, with ribs of Sugar Pine.
Eighty-eight keys, 88 hammers, more than 230 strings — all are carefully created, installed and tested in every piano.
All in all, it takes about 11 months to make a Steinway grand piano.
Steinway & Sons has been located in the same spot in the Astoria section of Queens since the early 1870s. Founded in 1853 in a loft on Varick Street in Manhattan, the company’s reputation grew quickly, and the company needed space to expand their operations.
Factory tours are offered from September through the end of June. (Factory tours are not available in July and August.) Tours are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, for a maximum of 15 people.
Needless to say, tours fill up quickly and must be booked in advance. Steinway currently has no openings for the rest of 2017 and is not yet taking reservations for 2018. Plan way ahead, and check for updates by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 718-721-2600.
Mary and Michael playing in the original Steinway Hall