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