By 1812Blockhouse

We share a new Landmarks of Mansfield post this morning as part of coverage of this coming weekend’s Secret City Tour in downtown Mansfield.

For information on the Tour, you can access our article here:

The Shiscka House of Pianos Building’s first known occupant was the piano store of Mansfielder businessman John B. Shiscka. The store was one of several in downtown Mansfield at the time that sold pianos, which were a staple of musical entertainment in local homes at the time.

Shiscka, whose family name is spelled many different ways in legal and census records, was originally from New Washington in Crawford County, and was born in 1869 to parents who emigrated to America from Germany. He was married in 1905 to Anna Theresa Paule at St. Peter’s Catholic Church; he was a member of the executive committee that was behind the erection of the new church building there.

John B. Shiscka

Shiscka House of Piano’s many advertisements in local papers of the time heralded the store’s range of “Pianos for Particular People.” Advertisements for the piano store stopped abruptly in 1916, suggesting that the store either moved or, more likely closed. In his 1930 obituary, it was said that he was then employed at Westinghouse.

Another clue to this is that the long-time use of the building at 46-48 West Fourth Street began in 1916, that being Stuhldreherer Brothers Florists.

The 14,000 square foot brick building has three floors. While we were not able to located a precise date of construction, it appears to have taken place between 1909 and 1914, as the latter is when it first appeared in Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of the city.

That building date fits well, as the structure was designed in the Chicago-developed Commercial Style so popular in that era. In that regard it is not totally dissimilar to the Mansfield Dry Goods Building at 26 North Main Street, which dates to 1914. When new, it sat immediately to the east of the First Christian Church, which would later build a new church on West Third Street.

The Shiscka House of Pianos Building appears to have original window trim with an exterior transomed door separating each group of two windows. The apparently original facade still boasts its multi-paned transform window which would have let light into the first floor showroom.

Photos: Public Domain; Google Maps

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