Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LPC Says “No” to another Vornado building.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will not give last-minute protection to the Rizzoli Bookstore, the century-old building will be demolished by it’s current owners Vornado Realty Trust.
The LPC’s decision came when community outrage about the demolition of the 57th Street building, which Vornado plan to tear down along with two other buildings.
“After a careful review, the Commission determined the building does not meet the criteria for individual landmark designation…” LPC spokeswoman Damaris Olivo said.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote a letter urging the commission to hold a public hearing to consider landmarking the building’s interior and exterior in the hopes of protecting it.  MBPO’s office had filed a formal request to have the building landmarked on March 21.
Vornado declined to comment on this.
According to DOB Records, no demolition permit has been filed as of yet.
The 109-year-old building at 31 W. 57th St. is renowned for its “architectural richness and diversity”  Brewer wrote in her letter to LPC on Tuesday.
The bookstore was originally a showroom for the Sohmer Piano Company and was designed in the French Classical style by architect Randolph Amiroty. The LPC has already recognized another building on the so-called Piano Row of current and former piano showrooms, giving protection to the nearby Steinway Hall in 2001.
This is not the first time that officials have pushed to give landmark status to a Vornado building. In 2007, Community Board 5 requested that the Hotel Penn receive protection, but was denied by the LPC.