October 1, 2022

Former Pratt, Read & Company Complex Sold to Firm Planning Storage of Architectural Artifacts

ESSEX— The former Pratt, Read & Company piano factory complex has been sold to a firm that will use the site for storage of architectural artifacts and remains.

The 18.5-acre parcel on Main Street in the Ivoryton section, with seven brick buildings encompassing 150,900-square-feet, was sold on July 19 by Piano Factory Business Park of Windsor, Vt. to Ivory LLC. The sale price listed with the town assessor was $350,000.

Ivory LLC is a new partnership established by Evan Blum, owner of a company called Demolition Depot/ Irreplaceable Artifacts. The company, with retail centers in Middletown and New York City, recovers and resells ornamental architecture and artifacts from historic structures that are scheduled for demolition.

Blum had been present at an auction of the property held on June 16, but at the time did not offer the minimum bid price of $350,000 that was established by Piano Factory Business Park. There were no other bidders at the auction.

Blum said this week he has begun “cleaning up and patching holes, in the vast complex in preparation for bringing in items for storage and possible display.”We’re going to set it up and make it look nice,” he said, adding “I think it will be a good use for everyone.”

Blum said his company has the largest collection of “vintage plumbing” in their world, along with antique doors, lighing fixtures, clocks, and ornamentations from historic buildings. Many of the items will be stored at the Ivoryton complex. Blum said it would take him six months to a year to reach full utilization of the complex.

The piano factory complex has played an important role in the history of Ivoryton. The complex, constructed in the late 19th century, was where Pratt, Read & Company turned African ivory in to piano keys, a use that gave the village of Ivoryton its name. Most of the complex has been vacant since the late 1980s.