The Real Deal New York

Rejected: Rizzoli Bookstore denied landmark status

LeFrak, Vornado to demolish building along with two neighboring structures
March 26, 2014 05:20PM

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has turned down an Upper West Side bookstore’s bid to shield itself from the wrecking ball with historic status.

The LeFrak family and Vornado Realty Trust, who collectively own the 31 West 57th Street building Rizzoli Bookstore has anchored for 29 years, plan to tear it down along with two neighboring structures. Announcement of the demolition plan sparked outrage in the community, but the LPC determined Wednesday that the building “does not meet the criteria for individual landmark designation.”

The news follows a Monday letter from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer urging the LPC to hold a public hearing and consider landmarking the site’s interior and exterior. Her office filed a formal request to grant the building landmark status on March 21.

The LeFraks did not immediately respond to DNAinfo’s request for comment, and a spokesperson for Vornado declined to comment.

Originally a showroom for the Sohmer Piano Company, the bookstore has anchored the 109-year-old building since moving from a Fifth Avenue locale during the 1980s. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland


    What a shame. those are beau buildings that you can’t duplicate nowadays. They should landmark the whole Manhattan.

    • Absurd

      “Landmark the whole Manhattan” – that makes good economic sense.

  • This represents a fundamental flaw in the landmarking process in this city. While whole neighborhoods of debatable architectural merit are swiped with the sledgehammer of preservation, using a scalpel proves impossible.

  • Lloyd Bergenson

    The bookstore is located in Midtown on 57th Street, not in the Upper West Side.

    And the Landmark Preservation Commission refusal to schedule a public hearing for 31 West 57th Street is not final: the matter can always be revisited if enough public pressure is placed on the Commission.