Among many news and stories;
Asking price 4.5 million 100 times the original 1925 purchase price.
Michael told me how his father, an Armenian tailor, bought the mansion when the Steinways put it up for sale in 1925. His father had saved everything he had made since moving to America in 1913. He had set his sights on the mansion years earlier, seeing it while traveling with friends on a Steinway trolley, likely on a trip to the North Beach recreational area. A realtor / friend who was with him on that trolley ride, remembered his interest in the mansion, and contacted him when it came up for sale. So Jack Halberian collected everything he had and bought the house for $45,000.
Upon taking possession of the home, Jack found it to be a less than smooth transition, as the water and electricity conduits were provided to him complements of the nearby Steinway Piano Factory. The factory terminated these conveniences following the Steinways exit shortly after the completion of the sale. Jack Halberian quickly set about to make things work, investing another $15,000 into repairs and improvements. His new wife’s family helped him refinance his investments in 1928 by providing him with $17,000 in loans.
In 1929 Jack’s wife’s family wanted their money back as the stock market crashed and everyone was short of cash. To make ends meet, Jack rented out the upper two floors of the house, while he and his family occupied the first floor and the basement. Michael remembers shoveling coal into the furnace during his youth to keep the house warm. Apparently the mansion at the time would consume about thirty tons of coal per season, which Michael informed me would fill half the study about eight feet high.
Michael is no more ;
Edited by Arpa, 09 March 2011 - 11:53 AM.