Sohmer and Company Piano Factory
31-01 Vernon Boulevard, Queens, New York
+40.76899, -73.9350740°46'08" N, 73°56'06" W
The Sohmer & Co. Piano Factory is significant under National Register Criterion A as the manufacturing and business headquarters of an important piano producer that was part of the growth of the American piano industry in nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and as an integral part of the late-nineteenth century industrial development of Long Island City. As New York became a center of piano manufacturing, Sohmer & Co., established itself as a leader in the industry, specializing in the production of vertical or upright pianos, which were most popular for domestic use. Founded in Manhattan in 1872 by Hugo Sohmer (1845-1931), the company grew from making four pianos per week in 1872 to 46 per week in the 1880s, becoming one of New York's major piano manufacturers. In the late nineteenth century, the fabrication of pianos and other musical instruments was one of New York City's top ten manufactured products. Sohmer & Co. established itself in Queens in 1886, shortly after the giant of the piano industry, Steinway, moved to Long Island City, where the rapidly industrializing Queen's waterfront provided easy shipping access and proximity to rail lines. Sohmer & Co. maintained its manufacturing headquarters on Vernon Boulevard in Queens until 1982, well beyond the decline of the industry.
Posted to the NRHP 2-14-2014
- August 21, 2014: Added by Dave King