Borough President Calls for Landmarks Reform



Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and city preservationists today called for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street.

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“The landmarks process requires reform; we must avoid more Rizzoli-like ambushes on our history. We are here today to ask that the LPC immediately study those remaining buildings on West 57th Street to identify and landmark those that represent the best of their eras, and I will introduce legislation which will require the LPC to follow transparent and consistent time frames in responding to future designation requests,” Ms. Brewer said in a prepared statement.

Rizzoli Bookstore. (Credit: PropertyShark)
Rizzoli Bookstore. (Credit: PropertyShark)

Earlier, the Landmarks Preservation Commission deemed that the home of the bookstore did not meet the criteria for landmark status. The LPC determined that the property “lacks the architectural significance necessary to meet the criteria for designation as an individual landmark,” according to the International Business Times.

The home of the bookstore is expected to be demolished by the LeFrak Organization and Vornado Realty Trust to make way for new development. Residential development is on the rise on 57th Street, where Extell Development’s One57 project has earned the title of  tallest residential building in the city.

“The loss of Rizzoli should be a wake-up call.  With all of the development pressures on 57th Street, there should be a comprehensive look at which buildings should be landmarked so that other new development doesn’t further erode the layers of architectural history that make this such a special street,” Peg Breen, executive director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, added in a statement.

The Rizzoli Bookstore is planning a move to another location and is currently holding a moving sale.