M. Steinert and Sons piano store is getting a new set of keys, and I don’t mean piano key, but actual keys…
The unique Boston business has been located at 162 Boylston Street since it first opened its doors in 1896, and now over a decade later, it is being forced to temporary relocate to Park Square.
The Murphy family, who owns M. Steinert and Sons must transport about 300 pianos, 300 yards to the stores new location- a result of the new landlord undertaking major renovations to the building where the store has resided for the past 120 years.
But the move is not that simple for the Murphy’s.
They will have to sift through records, remains, and memories in including photos of performances in the store’s once majestic Steinert Hall in the early 20th century, an autographed picture of Vladimir Horowitz, old letters from the Boston Symphony Orchestra about concert piano deliveries, scrapbooks of advertising campaigns from decades past and even a rare grand piano from 1856, as they prepare to down size to the new smaller location.
Moving pianos is as hard as it looks. Jerome Murphy, uncle to the Murphy’s and the company’s treasurer, said: “It’s not going to be the Ringling Brothers; it’s not going to be a parade of elephants going down the street.”
It takes three people about 15 minutes to move a grand piano and the retail cost of moving a single grand piano is about $400, if it does not require stairs or cranes, Brendan Murphy, the company Vice President, said.
With the amount of things that have accumulated in M. Steinert and Sons over the past 120 years, the anticipated move time is one month, and the new location in Park Square should be open for business in August.
The Murphy family is hopeful that their temporary relocation is exactly that- temoparay.
“We’ve been invited back, and we expect to come back,” said Paul Murphy. “This is our address, this is our home, and we want to keep it that way.”