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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Sohmer and Company Piano Factory
Reference Number 14000007
State New York
County Queens
Town Queens
Street Address 31-01 Vernon Boulevard
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 2/14/2014
Areas of Significance Architecture, Industry
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/14000007.pdf
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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.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria