Sunday Ads: Music to Your Ears

Written by on October 9, 2016 in Sunday Ads - No comments
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The Wilking Music Company looks to drum up sales in October of 1940. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

The Wilking Music Company looks to drum up sales in October of 1940. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Business:  Wilking Music Company

 Date of Ad:  October 13th, 1940

Location:  120 East Ohio Street, near Massachusetts Avenue

Years of Operation: 1922-1995

Notable: For over 70 years, Wilking Music Company was the place to go if you wanted that glamorous Steinway and Son’s grand piano. Founded in 1922 by Frank Wilking in a small storefront in the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, the business grew to occupy the entire building. Anticipating a big boom after World War II, the company moved to the Vajen Building at 114 North Pennsylvania in 1946

Additionally:        Wilking Music Company became part of the Steinway Company in 1960 who in turn sold it to local distributor Richard Gigax. During this time the company expanded to locations at the various shopping malls throughout the city and a warehouse store in Park 100 on the northwest side. Gigax sold the company in 1981 to Jasper Indiana based Kimball Piano Company who consolidated the operation to a massive showroom at 86th Street and Allisonville Road. This venture closed in 1995. Richard Gigax went on to found Meridian Music who continues to do business in Carmel.

sanborn

The Sanborn image and historic photo highlight the block of Massachusetts Avenue where Wilking Music was founded. Image: IUPUI Digital Library and Archives

The above Sanborn image and historic photo highlight the block of Massachusetts Avenue where Wilking Music was founded. The storefront would have been in the Bradford building just to the right of the familiar Leon Tailoring although later ads indicated the address at the Ohio Street frontage. (Courtesy Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society and Indiana University)

The storefront was located in the Bradford building just to the right of the familiar Leon Tailoring although later ads indicated the address at the Ohio Street frontage. (Photo: Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society and Indiana University)

The Wilking Music Company moved to new digs along Pennsylvania Street in 1946. The facade from the long-demolished Vajen Block was saved and incorporated into Circle Centre Mall along south Meridian. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

The Wilking Music Company moved to new digs along Pennsylvania Street in 1946. The facade from the demolished Vajen Block was saved and incorporated into Circle Centre Mall along south Meridian. (Image: Library of Congress)

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About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

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