1855 Italianate – Astoria, NY

Added to OHD on 2/16/12   -   Last OHD Update: 6/28/20   -   21 Comments
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1831 41st St, Astoria, NY / 1833 41st St, Long Island City, NY

Map: Aerial

  • $1,900,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 4.5 Bath
  • 12285 Sq Ft
  • 1 Ac.
This Mansion is a welcome reminder of New York City’s historical past; a time when summer retreats boasted over 440 acres and the finest in architectural style and materials. Built in 1855 for the New York Optician, Benjamin T. Pike Jr., the house was constructed of Maine Bluestone and detailed with cast-iron columns and trim. The property was owned by the Steinway family from 1870 to 1925, and has remained with the current family ever since. Today the Mansion’s 25 rooms sit on a green oasis of approximately one acre. Intricately carved marble mantelpieces, plaster moldings, etched glass walnut pocket doors, and a glimmering chandelier dangling elegantly from a 30 foot sky lit dome all combine to great affect. The main floor’s double Parlor connects to both the Grand Foyer and Formal Dining Room with expansive Kitchen and gorgeous Library. The second floor has 5 Bedrooms, Office, and two full Baths, connected by a stunning shelved Book Gallery. Media Room, Sauna and Jacuzzi.
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21 Comments on 1855 Italianate – Astoria, NY

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  1. norma says: 40 comments

    What I like about this place is EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BOOKCASES!!!!!!!!! ok calm down deep breaths, but did you see the BOOKCASES ok i am fine now I do love this one

  2. Ben says: 1 comments

    wow, i had no idea that this was in astoria, which is mostly a very nice, affordable neighborhood…too bad this is in the industrial zone.

  3. Robt. W. says: 358 comments

    A beautiful house, and grander on the inside than the grand exterior would suggest. It wants some money spent on it, however. Terrific library in the upstairs hall, though I’d have to add some turned feet to those bookcases which simply suspend from the walls in a way that’s visually disturbing (it may work for the staircase at Shirley Plantation, but here I can’t look at them and not see an accident in the future.)

    • Ryan says: 461 comments

      LOL, thanks for pointing that out! I didn’t have a problem with those bookcases until you mentioned them, but now all I see when I look at them is their weird wall suspension. You’ve ruined those bookcases for me:)

  4. John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

    I like this house because it reflects inside the creative vitality seen in the early years of the Victorian era. By the late 1870’s, design forms became more rigid or standardized and creativity diminished. (there are always exceptions, of course) By the 1890’s, “everything had been done” design-wise with Victorian themes and the only way to have something new and refreshing was to go in an opposite direction which soon happened afterwards in the 20th century. The front porch/portico should have been restored here, IMO, at this price point. I also speculate the ceilings and walls once had far more color than is evident today. But it’s hard to label a $3 million dollar home as a “project” house. The 1 acre lot and astounding 12,000+ sq. feet of interior space (as well as nearly $30k yearly in taxes) guarantees the next owner will have to be wealthy to maintain it not to mention paying for all the work it still needs.

  5. Ryan says: 461 comments

    Oops, forgot to add this, which I found on google images:
    http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/steinway_floorplan_8_10.jpg

  6. Tracy says: 92 comments

    Another lottery-enabled dream…

  7. Jim says: 5098 comments

    This was an industrial zone long before there was zoning, created by the Steinways for their own extensive operations. Every city needs areas like this for power and sewer plants, warehousing etc. – this is a perfect spot for it. The house was there before all that and remains only because 2 families have held it since the 1870’s, which is a wonderful thing.
    It looks like the owners know very well they can’t get a high price (more than $1.5MM or so) for the property from a private buyer, so they’ve turned up the PR campaign through the newspapers for the city or a charitable group to buy the place, a campaign started by their father almost 20 years ago: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/15/nyregion/a-mansion-of-dreams-awakes-in-urban-peril.html
    Sometimes the ploy works, but this doesn’t look like a deal that will fly politically and the location makes no sense for public use. If the family was only interested in saving the house, they would just put a deed restriction on it and sell it to the highest bidder. Believe me, there’s someone in New York that will buy it, take a half-hour limo ride to work every day, and enjoy the place for what it is.

  8. scott says: 58 comments

    makes me wonder what kind of houses were its neighbors at one point..unless this was the only house on the point… i wish there were more pictures of the interior..

    i don’t know which would be worse… commercial or slum apartment tenements…i am thinking slum apartment would be worse for neighbors..

    28k seems like a lot even for NY in this type of neighborhood… i wonder if it has a historic designation…could lower costs and tax benefits…. from what i see i like… maybe half of the price they are asking ( not that i could even afford that) but i couldn’t disqualify it because of the surroundings…

    • Ryan says: 461 comments

      In his diary, William Steinway talked about what the property was like before he bought it in 1870:

      June 22d
      Cool beautiful day. At 11 A.M. Mr. Winants Albert and I drive via Hunters Point along the Shore Road past Ravenswood, Astoria to Bowery Bay, view the property of late B. Pike jr. now Tracey. about 70 Acres with 4,000 feet Waterfront, and a magnificant Stone Mansion which cost some $80.000 to build. Afterwards drive past the Shore farm of Douglass, fine beach, then by Jackson Ave. past the Bricklayers reservation, then to the German Cabinetmakers reservation, Schneiders Park +c. where we take cold lunch, thence home.

      July 11th,
      Monday. Father, wife & I to town with Plymouth Rock father is delighted. Albert had arrived with Regina Roos Saturday night, and taken her to Staten Isl. She goes to Long Branch with my wife. In afternoon, make Agreement with John Tracy jr. & Sheridan Shook for purchase of country seat of the late B. Pike jr. for $127.500 It is situated on Bowery Bay in the rear of Astoria, splendid Chateau on the Ground & about 80 Acres of Ground together with over 14 Acres of Waterfront. Pay them $5000. on the purchase. with Albert at Yacht which is nearly ready. Supper at fathers, at home in eveg writing. In the morning found very penitent letters from Weisser |

      July 12th Tuesday. At 7 A.M. Albert, father, mother & I drive over to view the land I bought. All are delighted with the magnificent house and place. Also view Luysters place. father wants to go halves with me on the purchase. Returning we drive through the German Cabinetmakers reservation. Stop at Schneiders Park. Uptown eve.
      ———————————————————

      I’m sure it was still beautiful back then ’cause 127 grand was a serious chunk of change to pay for a house in those days!

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 935 comments
        Admin

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        Wow, thanks for finding and posting that. I love reading old diaries if not just how they worded things back then. They could have written a story about going to the outhouse and somehow made it sound like a grand adventure. I would have loved to see what the land looked like back then, before it was ruined by progress and convenience.

    • Ryan says: 461 comments

      Oh, forgot to add, yes, it does have landmark status. I don’t know what that does for the taxes, etc., but I know it means that no owner can legally tear the place down.

  9. norma says: 40 comments

    I think of all the homes on this site this one is the one I love the most and if I had a couple million dollars I would be home. I just love this house.

  10. says: 461 comments

    Just ran across this new posting on one of my favorite blogs and thought I’d add it to the comments here.
    http://bigoldhouses.blogspot.com/2012/06/sos.html

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11848 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Wow, that is my new favorite blog!

      Ryan, in one of the last photos is what appears to be a gigantic old icebox. Do you know if that is, and if so does it have a particular name other than gigantic icebox?

      • says: 461 comments

        The wooden thing, do you mean? ‘Cause I think that’s a sauna.

        • says: 461 comments

          Oh wait, I just figured out what you’re talking about…that white thing that looks like a giant fridge. I’m guessing that’s a giant fridge:)

          IDK, maybe an early restaurant cooler or something like that? It looks like it could hold several dead bodies, though, so that’s a nice feature.

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