Arrive here and enter through the huge double front doors into the stunning Entry Hall. Proceed to the first floor Family Room, where your eyes will immediately be drawn to the fantastic views overlooking the Allegheny River and the city and mountains beyond. As you look around the room, you will start to get a feel for the house and the music machines and the man who brought them all together. Relax and enjoy a brief history of the building and stories about Charles Boyd Brown, III, known as “Chuck” to his friends, the gentleman who made the Museum a reality. Chuck was truly “one-of-a-kind,” and the captivating stories reflect his eccentric way of living and his most personal method of doing things. The Curator presents a general description of the many unique music machines, most of them over 100 years old, which are housed in the building. The Family Room provides your first opportunity to hear a few of these machines play music from a bygone era.
Leaving the Family Room and starting through the house, prepare to become more and more amazed at everything you see. At Bayernhof, nothing is normal or expected, and there is always another fascinating story to be told. The Dining Room conforms to everyone’s vision of just what a formal dining room should look like--with a fun twist thrown in. Because the music collection is displayed throughout the building, the tour includes a comprehensive sampling of machines played in almost every room along the way.
Returning to the stately Grand Hallway, notice the sweeping stairway leading to the second floor of the Museum. The landing at the top of the staircase contains several of the more unique machines in the collection, as well as a surprise or two. Comments such as “Do you believe this?” and “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” are quite common throughout the tour.
The second floor Gambling Room contains several very rare machines as well as one of the most visually impressive skylights seen anywhere. This very special skylight, which depicts scenes relating to Germany, was custom-made to specs provided by Chuck. As with everything else, there is an accompanying story.
Following a trip to the Master Bedroom and the Observatory, travel through a hidden door and down a secret passageway to Chuck’s home Office. The walls are adorned with pictures of Chuck with many of the well-known people he encountered over his lifetime. The Office is the perfect spot for another entertaining “Chuck story”, one that must be both heard and observed in the telling.
After stopping in a few other areas, arrive in the eye-catching Billiard Room via a surprise route. In this room, guests will experience a machine referred to by the Curator as the “world’s first jukebox.” Visitors are always delighted by the “music” coming from the “jukebox” (officially known as a Multiphone), and they are intrigued by the very interesting story surrounding the pool table.
In another area, you will be treated to music from a Merry-Go-Round Band Organ and will be transported in your mind back to your childhood when the carnival came to town. Just when you think “there can’t be anything more,” another cleverly concealed door leads to the most unique feature of the Museum--the Secret Cave. Visions of Carlsbad Caverns swirl through your mind as you wander through a passage filled with stalactites, stalagmites, small waterfalls, pools, and other surprises.
Upon exiting the Cave, enter the Swimming Pool Room. Suffice it to say, it must be seen to be believed. The comment most heard at the end of the tour is, “I can’t wait to tell my friends about this place! They won’t believe me.”
Swimming Pool Room