New chapter as demolition of Rizzoli Bookstore approved

West 57th Street store attracted last-minute preservation efforts

New York /
May.May 14, 2014 01:15 PM

Call it a new chapter. Plans to fully demolish the Rizzoli Bookstore, which shuttered in April despite last-minute preservation efforts, and an adjacent building were filed and approved on Wednesday, according to Department of Buildings records.

The LeFrak family and Vornado Realty Trust, which own the six-story building that Rizzoli formerly anchored at 31 West 57th Street, had filed plans to demolish the property along with two adjacent ones, as previously reported. The pair plan to construct a high-rise condominium at the site, according to previous reports.

Today’s plans also included the demolition for building number 33.

Rizzoli’s fate caught the attention of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who wrote the city Landmarks Preservation Commission in March, urging them to hold a public hearing considering the landmarking of the site’s interior and exterior. Such a move would have saved the building from demolition. Brewer’s office also filed a request to give the building landmark status. The LPC, however, denied the bid.

“It is important to note that if a building or interior is landmarked, the Commission does not regulate use,” a commission spokesperson told DNAinfo in April. “Therefore, a business — like a bookstore — can relocate at any time based on their specific lease agreements.”

A representative for Vornado had no immediate comment. LeFrak did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

“The Landmarks Preservation Commission does not have jurisdiction over 31 West 57th Street, as, after an extensive review, it was determined that the building does not meet the criteria for Landmark designation,” said the LPC in a written statement to The Real Deal.

Rizzoli anchored the 109-year-old property for 29 years.


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