Tag Archives: Steinway Mansion

Star of Queens: Lauren Elizabeth Cornea, Clinton Club of Northeast Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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JANAE HUNTER

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Lauren Cornea has been a Young Democrat with the Clinton Club of Northeast Queens, which serves the neighborhoods of Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck and Whitestone, since 2010. The club keeps the community updated on local events and politics in the neighborhood. She is also a member of the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club and does community and volunteer work for the community through the chapter. When she is not doing work for these organizations or volunteering for attorney Paul Vallone, she is a Learning Leader volunteer, where she tutors students at P.S. 21Q in reading, writing and math.

BACKGROUND: Cornea was born and raised in Flushing. After graduating from the Harvey School, Cornea spent some time traveling in Europe. Now, she is back in Queens and works as a realtor at Amorelli Realty in Astoria, and is the single mother of two children, Dominic John, 8, and Violeta-Rose, 6.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The greatest obstacle I have faced is being a single mother juggling career and family life,” Cornea said. Raising two young children and balancing a job can be hard, but she makes it work. As for her career, being a female commercial realtor is tough when there are so many men doing the job. “This is a man’s world, and I have had to work extra to live in it. I work extra hard for people to take me seriously and value what I have to say. I have worked very hard to be seen as a woman who is knowledgeable and hard working and not just seen as a pretty face.”

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I have so many achievements that I’m proud of that it’s hard to choose,” said Cornea. “One of my top achievements has been closing the deal on Steinway Mansion. That deal took 18 months and when we finally closed the deal it went for $2.6 million.” But, she added, raising her children, successfully bouncing back from the divorce, having the opportunity to give back by teaching children to learn to read, write and do basic arithmetic, and being a successful woman in a male-dominated profession are also some of Cornea’s greatest achievements.

INSPIRATION: “This may sound corny, but my biggest inspiration is definitely my kids,” said Cornea. “They rely on me for everything. On days when I do not feel like getting up, all I have to do is think about my two children who need me to be a success in order for them to have a better future.” Cornea said she is also inspired by her natural competitiveness that makes her try and be the best at whatever she does.

 

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Steinway Mansion sold to unknown Astoria buyers


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Gary Vollo

The landmarked Steinway Mansion is officially off the market.

The home that sits on top of a hill at 18-33 41st St. has been sold to two unidentified Astoria-buyers who grew up in the neighborhood, according to City Councilman Costa Constantinides.

Constantinides said he met with the two local men prior to their purchase of the home and they have no plan on changing it to a night club or dining hall but instead want to open it as community space.

“I was really glad they came to speak with the neighborhood first. They really want to work with local officials and the community to make sure it stays part of neighborhood,” Constantinides said. “They really want to work with the neighborhood. They want it to be something that celebrates the great history of Astoria.”

The home, which was built in the 1850s, was sold for $2.6 million, according to published reports. It had reportedly been on the market for about two years and in March a private buyer was said to be in contract to purchase the home.

The Astoria mansion was built by Benjamin Pike and was later sold to the Steinway family as a summer home around 1870, with the Steinway & Sons piano factory built decades later only a few blocks away. In the 1920s, the home was sold to the Halberian family and has stayed in the family ever since. It was later selected as a New York City Landmark in 1967.

 

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Music festivals to raise money to save Steinway Mansion


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Friends of Steinway Mansion

The music will play on to help the Steinway Mansion survive.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion was recently created with the goal to preserve the icon that sits atop a hill at 18-33 41st Street in Astoria.

In order to turn the mansion’s 27 rooms into museum space or a teaching and learning center for small concerts and workshops, the coalition has turned to music to help raise the $5 million needed to purchase the historic local landmark and its property.

On Saturday, September 28 the group held the first of nine performances for The Friends of Steinway Mansion Music Festival at Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria. The evening began with supporters rallying to save the mansion and was followed by a performance from indie rocker Dru Cutler.

Photo courtesy of Gary Vollo

“This was something that our community spontaneously put together,” said Bob Singleton, coalition founder and executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. “It was really nice to see people come to the brewery. It was like a festive occasion, it was almost like a party.”

The traveling festival will bring together the community at local venues with music from local bands each week of October and into November. The next concert will take place on Friday, October 4 at Raven’s Head Public House.

“Every person has their own unique taste in music but the love of music really unites us as a species,” sad Singleton. “Our community, not just Astoria and Queens but New York City and beyond, believe this place would be a great teaching facility.”

The mansion was built in the 1850s by Benjamin Pike and was later sold to the Steinway family as a summer home around 1870. The Steinway & Sons piano factory was built decades later only a few blocks away. In the 1920s, the home was sold to the Halberian family and has stayed in the family ever since. It was later selected as a New York City Landmark in 1967.

“Steinway & Sons has met with The Friends of Steinway Mansion and is fully supportive of their efforts to preserve this landmark,” said Anthony Gilroy, director of marketing and communications for Steinway & Sons. “The mansion predates even our Long Island City factory, which goes back to the early 1870s, and such a historic building deserves to be restored and made accessible to the general public – which is the goal of this newly formed group.”

Although the last performance is scheduled for November 16, the group hopes to continue raising public awareness on the mansion and gathering funds to purchase the historic property.

“Its fate really is going to be a reflection of our community. The Steinway Mansion is a place for all people of the world,” said Singleton. “The Astoria community is really the caretaker of what happens to this place.”

If you are interested in hosting a future event email steinwaymansion@gmail.com. For more information on upcoming performances visit astorialic.org.

 

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Coalition formed to save Steinway Mansion


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Gary Vollo

A new group is aiming to preserve the iconic Steinway Mansion for future generations to enjoy the historic local landmark.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion is a newly formed coalition with members including Steinway & Sons, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, local officials and historians.

“It is the stuff of New York legend. Within its walls was ‘the cradle of creativity,’ under its beams lived ‘a household of genius.’ It is cut from the cloth that defines our city,” said Bob Singleton, coalition founder and executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. “It is a place that celebrates something any New Yorker instinctively understands – it is a monument to the unique spirit of New York and its people.”

The coalition will have to raise millions of dollars for the purchase of the house, which has been on sale for about two years at a reported asking price of $2.9 million. Funds are also needed for maintenance, restoration, and conversion into a public facility.

The 27 rooms in the mansion could become a museum space or a teaching and learning center for small concerts and workshops, according to Singleton.

The mansion that sits on top of a hill at 18-33 41st Street in Astoria was built in the 1850s by Benjamin Pike and was later sold to the Steinway family as a summer home around 1870, with the Steinway & Sons piano factory built decades later only a few blocks away. In the 1920s, the home was sold to the Halberian family and has stayed in the family ever since. It was later selected as a New York City Landmark in 1967.

“We fully support the efforts to preserve the Steinway Mansion and its historical relevance,” said Anthony Gilroy, director of marketing and communications for Steinway & Sons. “The Mansion is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in the area. It predates our factory by about two decades – and we’ve been in this spot since the early 1870s.”

In a 2006 documentary on the iconic home featuring the late Henry Steinway and Mike Halberian, who died in 2010, Halberian offers a hope that “that generations yet unborn have an opportunity to experience the house and its surrounding property’s extraordinary magic,” said Singleton.

“Steinway Mansion is one of Queens most treasured landmarks. For the past 155 years it has stood as a tangible window into the fascinating past of New York City and its influential residents,” said Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.

Promising Halberian that his dream would come true, the coalition members are making sure the mansion is preserved with the help of the public, as the Friends of Steinway Mansion will formally kick off its campaign in early May.
“The public can help. Email us or better, drum up public support on Facebook at our Friends of Steinway Mansion page,” said Singleton. “Let your imagination free. Give us your suggestions and ideas.”

Photo courtesy of Greater Astoria Historical Society, Henry Z. Steinway Collection

 

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