Video network Great Big Story has a nice look inside the workshop of Alex Carozza, the last accordion repairman in New York City purely dedicated to the instrument. In December, he closed up the shop he ran for 50 years on 48th Street, one of the last remaining on what was once known as Music Row. Most of the block has been looking shuttered and abandoned for quite some time, and Carozza moved into a new location in an office building on 54th Street.
As he told the New York Times, he was doing at $40 million a year with a staff of 30 at the peak of his business. But Carozza was also real estate savvy too: he owned his building on 48th Street, purchased for $500,000 in the 1970s and sold it for $33 million in 2008.
As you see in the video from Great Big Story, he’s now in a small space but is in great spirits and still doing what he loves. He’s 88 years old but doesn’t look it. His co-worker has been with him for 60 years, since 1949. “People come from all over the world to fix the accordion,” Carozza says and jokes that when he fixes an accordion, he actually loses a customer because he fixes it correctly. He also shows viewers some of the accordions in the collection, with one at least 75 years old.
Next, read more 5 lost neighborhoods in NYC including Radio Row.