Player pianos for sale in Hell’s Kitchen

On Tenth Avenue and 52nd Street stands a lovely red brick tenement building with some ghostly signage. “Factory & Warerooms” reads the banner lettering across the facade between the second and third floors.


Then, on the lower left, “Player Pianos.” This building was the home of the Becker Bros. piano factory, founded by Jacob Becker. On, it explains that Becker pianos were “of great merit in which the skill and experience of the makers are clearly evinced.”


The player pianos were also rated pretty highly. “The Becker Bros. player piano is equally meritorious and noted for its simplicity of construction and ease of operation,” the guide says.

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5 Responses to “Player pianos for sale in Hell’s Kitchen”

  1. joy Says:

    Still enjoying your blog immensely, but had a question…

    How do you find out your nifty facts? Are you speaking to owners? Scouring the libraries? Surfing online?

    Just wonder, because I have a rather romanticized image of you buried in library stacks and there’s something awesome about that.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I’m so glad you enjoy ephemeral. I guess I find these things using all the methods you mentioned: Internet research, walking around and noticing things, reading books about the city. I wish I had the time to bury my head in library stacks! Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the cold winter months.

  3. Clif Lund-Rollins Says:

    Interesting to see the building where my Becker Bros. player piano was made in 1923. Thank you!

  4. cindy sensenig Says:

    I was told by my mother that our becker piano was built by my great great great(I think( grandfather,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,is this possible ?

  5. An old piano ad on 37th Street fading out of view | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] a brick wall next door to a strangely suburban-looking Marriott Hotel is a relic of New York’s piano manufacturing […]

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