Public Pianos

A new addition in downtown Naperville is allowing those who visit the chance to tickle the ivories.

After a local business owner saw pianos featured in a town in Colorado, the Downtown Naperville Alliance thought it would be a good idea to feature the musical instruments in front of businesses downtown.

“I think it brings a lot of joy, it brings the community together, and I don’t think you could help but stop when you hear someone playing the piano,” said Katie Wood, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance. “So I thought let’s bring it downtown.”

Just a few weeks ago the first piano was installed in front of Room 363 on Washington Street. Owner, Mark Norkaitis, says it adds to the feeling of community downtown.

“People come in and play the piano, and people come stand around and watch,” said Norkaitis. “It’s just something I offer I like people to use the courtyard for fun and just to enjoy the downtown.”

Bev Patteron Frier is all too familiar with the black and white keys. She was the owner of Bev Patterson’s Pianos and Organs, which she started right across the street from where the first public piano sits.

“I think this is fun! It’s kind of hidden in here, but I suppose you have to,” said Patterson. “Downtown Chicago, I don’t remember, but several years ago they had outdoor ping pong tables. And I thought well this is kind of fun. People can stop by and tinkle a few notes. But this is fun, this is more fun than that, this is has got some liveliness to it, the cows and all of that are static.”

The Downtown Naperville Alliance is hoping these new pianos strike a chord with visitors because they want to install more as the summer goes on.

The next piano was just finished and will be placed in front of Little Luxuries on Main Street.

If the pianos are a big hit you can expect even more next summer.


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