Final chapter for Rizzoli bookstore as demolition awaits

LeFrak, Vornado plan to tear down iconic site, but Landmarks commission mulls intervention

Rizzoli Bookstore at 31 West 57th Street
Rizzoli Bookstore at 31 West 57th Street

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is weighing an application to preserve the interior of the Rizzoli Bookstore, just days before the retailer plans to shut down.

The LeFrak family and Vornado Realty Trust, owners of the property at 31 West 57th Street, intend to demolish the property, along with two adjacent buildings. Rizzoli has served as the anchor tenant at the 109-year-old, six-story building for 29 years. The store is offering 40 percent discounts on merchandise prior to its last day on Friday.

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The Landmarks board already rejected Rizzoli’s request for individual landmark designation, deciding that it did not meet the criteria. LeFrak and Vornado have not yet filed permits for demolition.

“It is important to note that if a building or interior is landmarked, the Commission does not regulate use,” a spokesperson for the commission said in a statement cited by DNAinfo. “Therefore, a business — like a bookstore — can relocate at any time based on their specific lease agreements.” [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer