Archive for April 11th, 2014

Manhattan’s iconic bookstore Rizzoli closes its doors today amid protests.

Friday, April 11th, 2014
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Rizzoli, April 9/2014

Our man in New York City, the roaming photographer (and occasionally reporter) Zygmunt Malinowski writes to tell us that the iconic bookstore Rizzoli, at 31 West 57th Street in mid-Manhattan, will close today. “I went to see this six-story townhouse for the last time. The building’s prime location off 5th Avenue within a few blocks from Central Park, Plaza Hotel and Rockefeller Center with St. Patrick’s Cathedral nearby contributed to its popularity. Elegant interior with oak shelves, decorated vaulted ceilings, with cast iron chandeliers, and columned arches – it was truly majestic. Its collection of books was special – for instance, a section of graphic novels. Besides general interest, there were a substantial number of coffee table books,” he wrote.

It didn’t go down without a fight. It just lost potential status as a landmark, despite the pleas of thousands of booklovers and others. As reported yesterday by the International Business Times:

In yet another blow to the thousands of preservation advocates fighting tooth and nail to save New York City’s Rizzoli Bookstore, the building that houses the bookstore doesn’t meet the requirement for interior landmark protection, according to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The determination, announced on Thursday, follows months of impassioned appeals from preservationists, city officials and New Yorkers who live and work near Manhattan’s rapidly changing West 57th Street, and who have been rallying to save the century-old building, which is presumed to be facing demolition to make way for yet another glass skyscraper. More than 16,000 people have signed a petition in an effort to save the charming, six-story property located at 31 West 57th Street, where Rizzoli Bookstore has been since 1985. The bookstore is set to close its doors for good on Friday, when a rally arranged by Manhattan Community Board Five is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT outside the building.

According to Zygmunt, a printed window sign mentioned that Rizzoli would relocate – but when? and where?

As always, he’s documented the sad day with photos.  Take a look for the last time.

Rizzoli, April 9/2014

 

Rizzoli, April 9/2014

Rizzoli, April 9/2014