As if there was some kind of bizarre competition to stack 57th Street with new developments at a breakneck pace, it appears yet another one is on its way. The Times reports that the limestone mansion at 31 West 57th Street, which currently houses the beloved Rizzoli bookstore on its ground floor, might not be long for this world. A developer duo of LeFrak and Vornado Realty Trust apparently told the shop that it planned to demolish the 109-year-old lowrise, along with two of its similarly sized neighbors, to make way for a new development. Though they didn't disclose the size or scope of the project, given the myriad megatowers rising right now along that thoroughfare-in-flux, we can imagine it'll be tall. Folks are already mourning the bookstore's imminent ousterthe place is beautifulthough one source told the Times that the developers hoped to find Rizzoli a new home (it's already moved once before, also due to a real estate boom!) and are deciding between a residential and commercial tower for the site.
Granted, it is a video they published themselves, but many would agree with the short film's title: "The Most Beautiful Bookstore In New York."
There are no demolition permits currently on file for the building yet, so whatever lies ahead may take awhile. Next comes the fun part: preservation groups have already spoken out, and archicritics (who don't love 57th Street's towers-on-the-move and the shadows they might cast, calling for more public review of these projects) will likely join the fray once we know exactly what will rise on the combo-parcel between Fifth and Sixth avenues. More intel? Please hit up the tipline.
· Bookstore May Have To Flee The Wrecking Ball, Again [NYT]
· From 57th Street to the Fulton Center, What To Watch In 2014 [Curbed]
· Here Now, Mapping All of 57th Street's Towers in Progress [Curbed]