News that the A&P company was going to divest itself of its Food Emporium line of grocery stores raises the question of what may happen to one of New York's most impressive public interior spaces—the BridgeMarket on First Avenue in Manhattan underneath the 59th Street Bridge. Food Emporium has operated a store there for a dozen years and the location is unprofitable, according to Crain's. The BridgeMarket was designed by Rafael Guastavino and is one of the largest examples of he Barcelona architect's Catalan vault style in New York City. Smaller scale Guastavino work can be found in Grand Central Terminal's lower level and at Grant's Tomb. The current incarnation of BridgeMarket (a collaboration between Hugh Hardy and Terrance Conran) as a Food Emporium , however, allows one to sit in an upper level cafe and appreciate an excellent return of a public space to its intended purpose, after years serving as a Dept. of Transportation storage facility. It's worth a visit before the chain is sold and the BridgeMarket is closed for any renovations or changeover work.
· A&P Puts Food Emporium Up for Sale [Crain's]