In this case, it sounds like the 57th Street outpost of art book haven Rizzoli is resting, not actually dead; it’s looking for a new space. And though it’s the sort of bookstore I visit more for gifts and browsing than serious library stocking (expensive art books are an aspirational, not an everyday, purchase for me), I’m still sad to see it go. The space is beautiful, and what better use of a beautiful space than a bookstore with beautiful books? Plus, it sounds like the 109-year-old building is going to be demolished and rebuilt, which is a lesson I guess Americans can’t learn too many times. Another steel and glass tower, anyone?
Aside from that, it’s always sad to see a cultural institution fall prey to rising rents and — I don’t know, do people buy expensive art books online? That seems like the most important type of book to flip through before you buy. But I guess people said the same thing about clothes and shoes, and we all know how that turned out.
The silver lining, if you happen to be near, is that Rizzoli is selling its current stock at 40% off through Friday.