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Chickering and Sons Piano Factory

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1854, Edwin Payson; 1973–1974, Gelardin, Brunner/Cott and Associates. 791 Tremont St.
  • Chickering and Sons Piano Factory (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Although the Boston piano industry was concentrated in the South End near Harrison and Albany streets in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the most famous piano manufacturer in the city was Chickering and Sons, located on Tremont Street from 1854 until 1928. The company was already well established when this mammoth factory opened with four hundred workers. Built around a courtyard, the complex features a rear wing containing the engine rooms and hexagonal smokestack, which is still visible.

After 1928 the building was used for different commercial and industrial purposes until 1973–1974, when it was rehabilitated by Gelardin, Brunner/Cott and Associates and subdivided into apartments and work and exhibit spaces for musicians, artists, and craftsmen. Spaces were left unstructured to suit various artistic purposes, and a freight elevator was also included to move heavy objects such as stone for sculptures. This was one of Boston's earliest adaptive reuse projects for industrial buildings.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Chickering and Sons Piano Factory", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 143-143.

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