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Community piano under I-275 in St. Pete smashed to pieces

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – A beloved community piano in St. Pete was torn to pieces last week, but a local art company ensured it was replaced.

“They’re doing a double take, they’re like ‘what is this?’” Said Chance Ryan, with Lucid Vending. “It takes them by surprise and that’s something I love to see.”

Lucid Vending is a community-driven, artistic, St. Petersburg-based vending machine company. Their machines carry a revolving supply of arts, crafts, engaging games, and locally sourced vintage items.

Ryan says they recently discovered that someone had broken the piano out of service. The last piano pieces were in the middle of the Grand Central District of St. Pete.

Chance Ryan

“It’s my life. Everything in life is here in this piano. If I’m sad it’s sad. If I’m happy it’s in a good mood,” said Tony Castellano, pianist.

Castellano believes the broken piano found under I-275 was priceless.

Fortunately, a few days after the destruction, Lucid Vending had it replaced.

“The local businesses and the people who live here, we now realize that they care about it, so we hope people are watching it, watching it and not destroying it,” Ryan said.

The return of the piano is a welcome reminder for Jason Edwards.

“I’ve never been taught to play it, to use my fingers, nothing like that. I can’t read a musical charter,” he said.

And now he’s a fan favorite for those who pass by.

“We know he’s very passionate about this piano, he’s actually a pretty decent player, he makes his own music,” Ryan said. “I hope he acts as a guardian to this piano during times when we can’t always take care of it.”


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