Hidden four-floors below a Boston piano store, Steinert Hall was once one of the most revered stages in the city before changing fire codes forced the subterranean theater to go under.
At one time, Boston was known for, among other things, its piano manufacturing and it was during this time that a German immigrant and his family established the M. Steinert & Sons piano store and its amazing hidden performance space, Steinert Hall. The ornate concert hall was originally opened in 1896 as a space where the ground floor piano store could show off their wares. The space quickly gained notoriety in the area due to its fabled, near-perfect acoustics earning the underground concert hall the nickname, “Little Jewel.” The main recital space was small by concert hall standards but still managed to attract the finest classical musicians and opera performers of the day. Unfortunately, 1942 would prove to be the year the music died when the hall was forced to close due to restrictive new fire codes as a result of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire. Rather than pay for prohibitively expensive upgrades, the theater simply closed its doors, leaving the space empty but intact.
Steinert Hall still rots away, untouched and unused deep under the Steinert piano store. It seems to be used as storage for broken or abandoned pianos, adding to the mouldering look of faded opulence. Visitors are not generally allowed into the decaying hall, and employees in the surface-level store are markedly reticent to discuss the space, but some high-profile touring musicians such as Elton John have been known to check out the grand old hall.
Know Before You Go
Steinert Hall is undergoing construction.