So, one of the things we loved about the Brady House when we walked inside was the “spectacularly in need of restoration” 1899 baby grand piano. After finding out the piano came with the purchase of the house, we researched its history, and discovered that it is a Wissner. The Wissner Piano Company was established by Otto Wissner in 1878. Their factories were located in Brooklyn, New York. Apparently, the pianos were some of the finest, most expensive pianos money could buy, but because of poor marketing, never achieved the world wide recognition they deserved. The company went out of business in about 1942 with the onset of World War 2.
While the piano isn’t original to the house, it was purchased by the previous owner, who just so happened to have rented the home to singer Carole King in 1979 when she was recording an album in Austin. I like to think that she sat there and played the piano while belting out “I feel the earth…move…” The piano is now undergoing restoration by Benke Piano, here in Austin, and we can’t wait until it comes back home!