Designed in a restrained neo-Classical style, Steinway Hall is L-shaped in plan, with a front portion clad in Indiana limestone that terminates in a set back, four-story colonnaded tower, and a central campanile-like tower with a steep pyramidal roof and large lantern.
The main facade’s base is embellished by a music-themed sculptural group by Leo Lentelli and by a frieze with medallion portraits of distinguished classical composer-pianists. The style, materials, setbacks and massing, picturesque towers, and decorative elements add distinction to the building and make it a monumental architectural presence along the West 57th Street cultural corridor.
The Reception Room and Hallway were commissioned the prominent piano manufacturer Steinway, and its primary space is a double-height octagonal rotunda where visitors, musicians and potential customers meet store representatives before entering various piano showrooms. It is visible from the street through a large display window and from the adjoining hallway that leads to the building’s elevator lobby.
The lavishly-decorated neo-Renaissance style room has a shallow domed ceiling with allegorical murals in the style of the celebrated Swiss-Austrian painter Angelika Kauffman. Visitors enter from the east part of the 57th Street facade, passing through a small foyer that mirrors the adjacent hallway. Each side of the rotunda has a large white marble arch that rests of fluted Ionic columns, as well as green marble pilasters.
It is a seemingly timeless monument to classical music and architecture, and at the time of the building’s completion, the Reception Room (and showrooms) garnered considerable attention in the press, appearing in the pages of the Architectural Record, Architecture & Building magazine, and The Music Trade Review.
STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is located along the western side of Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street. The Upper West Side has several Historic Districts and Individual Landmarks.Explore the Neighborhood >
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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
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Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society
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City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
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