Denton, Cottier & Daniels Inc., the nation's second-oldest music retailer, will soon be transplanted from its long-time home in Northtown Plaza to the site of the Arbordale Nursery in Getzville.
The piano and organ seller, whose roots stretch back to 1827, will take over Arbordale's main retail shop, as the nursery remodels and expands into a structure next door.
James Trimper Sr., president and owner of the family-run music store since 1983, which is known nationwide for its selection of Steinway pianos, said the company has been seeking a new home for nearly a decade.
"We're going to have a facility where we can really show off what we have," Trimper said. "The acoustics are going to be unbelievable, so customers will be able to hear how the instruments sound."
Denton, Cottier & Daniels currently sandwiches some 150 pianos into the 5,000-square-foot showroom inside the Century Plaza complex at Northtown Plaza on Sheridan Drive in Amherst.
The new 8,500-square-foot showroom will be laid out in an octagonal pattern, allowing customers to stroll easily through the piano and organ displays on a path of terrazzo tile and plush carpeting. The store will also feature a special Steinway display room, a digital piano room and a room where customers can try out their prospective new instrument in a private, acoustically-engineered setting.
Additional space will be dedicated to a repair, refinishing and restoration shop. Plans also call for development of group lesson rooms to broaden the scope of the store's offerings.
"It's going to be a simply gorgeous store which will fit the quality of the instruments we sell. It's going to allow us to be the kind of store we've wanted to be," Trimper said.
The company employs 24, with Trimper's son, James Jr., and daughter, Michelle, both holding vice president positions.Trimper expects the staff to grow once the move takes place in November.
"Amherst and Clarence are where the most of our new customers are coming from, so that should be enhanced when they can get to us more easily," Trimper said. "I also think that we'll draw new customers because we'll be in a very visible location, not tucked away in the back of a mall."
Denton, Cottier & Daniels began it lengthy retail run in 1827 when founder James D. Sheppard lugged Western New York's first piano into Buffalo on a mule-drawn boat up the newly opened Erie Canal. He displayed his first instruments from a room in the Eagle Tavern at Main Street, and later he set up his first shop on what is now the site of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library's downtown branch.
A few moves later, the store resided at 269 Main St. for some 50 years.
In the 1850s, New Yorker Hugh Cottier moved to Buffalo and became a partner in the business, followed by Robert Denton in 1863. Upon Sheppard's death in 1867, the music house was renamed Cottier & Denton, with William Daniels name added to the roster when he joined the partnership in 1887.
The store went on to have a 100-year run at 32 Court St., which ended in the 1970s when the entire business moved into what had been a satellite store in Northtown Plaza. There is also a store in Rochester, which is unaffected by the move of the Amherst store.