Shoe repair shop owner laces into Landmarks panel in suit

Proprietor of East 59th Street fixture says commission rejected application in capricious manner

50 East 59th Street
50 East 59th Street

The owners of a long-standing Midtown East shoe repair shop filed a lawsuit to seek historic status from Landmarks Preservation Commission in an effort to stave off closure.

Jim’s Shoe Repair, located at 50 East 59th Street, intends to shut its door in September after 81 years in business unless the shop is deemed a Landmark, according to documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. Joseph Rocco Jr. claimed in the suit that the store’s “historical significance and its original and uniquely antique interior” renders it eligible, but the Landmarks panel decided in October it was not worthy of consideration. The suit, which requests a full review, argued that the panel rejected his application in a capricious and arbitrary manner, the New York Daily News reported.

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Rocco said the Duane Reade next door is expanding and therefore is pushing out the shoe repair store. A Duane Reade spokesperson did not comment to the Daily News. [NYDN]Mark Maurer