Rizzoli Bookstore

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For Rizzoli Publications, see RCS MediaGroup.
Rizzoli Bookstore
Industry Specialty retail
Founded 1964 (1964)
Founder Angelo Rizzoli
Headquarters New York, New York, United States
Products new and rare books, magazines, stationary, DVDs, CDs
Owner RCS MediaGroup
Number of employees
About 25
Website www.rizzolibookstore.com

Rizzoli Bookstore was a general interest bookstore located at 31 W 57th Street in New York City and owned by RCS MediaGroup. Primarily specializing in illustrated books and foreign language titles, the store was noted for its beautiful interior. After Rizzoli's lease expired in April 2014, the building was demolished.[1][2]


In 1964, Angelo Rizzoli opened Rizzoli Bookstore at 712 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Built in 1907 by architect Albert S. Gottlieb and inspired by the classical style of 19th century Parisian town houses, the Rizzoli Building attracted legions of customers with its "marble floors, oak paneling, sparkling chandeliers."[3] Gianfranco Monacelli, who went on to become the president and chief executive of Rizzoli Publications before creating Monacelli Press in 1994, started as a night clerk in the Fifth Avenue store in 1965.

In the seventies, Roberto Polo, investment manager, art collector, and would-be design mogul worked part-time at Rizzoli while a graduate student at Columbia.[4] As the director of the Rizzoli Gallery, he organized an exhibition entitled “Fashion as Fantasy.”

In 1976, Rizzoli opened a store in Chicago's Water Tower Place. Additional stores later opened in Boston, Costa Mesa, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, San Francisco, Dallas, Oak Brook, Atlanta, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg.[5] In 1984, Rizzoli acquired Scribner's Bookstore on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan[6] and opened an additional store in Soho.

The Scribner’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue continued to operate under Rizzoli ownership until 1989, when it closed; the building, designed by Ernest Flagg in 1913, is now a Sephora.

In 1985, Rizzoli Bookstore relocated to its present location on West 57th Street.[7] The old Rizzoli building was saved at the last minute when it was designated a landmark.[8] The new store now occupies three floors of the former Sohmer Piano Company showroom and was renovated by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture.

Rizzoli closed most of its national locations except for its flagship store in 2001.[9]

In 2010, Rizzoli Bookstore opened a boutique store in the Italian food megastore Eataly, featuring nearly 400 titles related to food and drink. In 2012, a similar store opened in Saks Fifth Avenue, featuring a carefully curated selection of books on fashion, design, entertaining, interiors, special travel destinations and New York.[10][11]

On April 11, 2014, Rizzoli was forced to close its flagship store on 31 West 57th Street in New York, under the protest of customers and preservationists, after their lease had expired. The building owners, the LeFrak real estate family (see Richard LeFrak) and Vornado Realty Trust, planned to tear down the building and two adjoining buildings. [12] Demolition started shortly after the bookstore closed. [13] Rizzoli has no new location yet as of August 2014, but operates online and plans to find another storefront. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission had refused to warrant landmark status for the building, noting that the interior design dated only to 1985 and that there was not enough original substance from the 1919 building left. [14] The decision and the way the decision was made by the Landmarks Preservation Commission was criticized by the editorial board of the New York Times. [15]

In popular culture[edit]

Rizzoli Bookstore has been used as a prominent location in the films Falling in Love (1984), Manhattan (1979) and the forthcoming True Story.



  1. ^ Harper Collins. "16 Bookstores You Have to See Before You Die", Buzzfeed, New York, 9 August 2013.
  2. ^ Braun 2012, p. 146,
  3. ^ Robert Dahlin. "Rizzoli USA"Christian Science Monitor, 2 November 1984.
  4. ^ Dominick Dunne. "The Fall of Roberto Polo"Vanity Fair, New York, October 1988.
  5. ^ Edwin McDowell. "Rizzoli Grows from 'Museums' to Book Chain"New York Times, New York, 22 August 1984.
  6. ^ Herbert Mitgang. "Rizzoli Acquires Bookstores of Scribners"New York Times, New York, 10 December 1984.
  7. ^ Edwin McDowell. "Rizzoli Opens New Shop"New York Times, New York, 22 March 1985.
  8. ^ Jesus Rangel. "Proposal for 5th Avenue Sparks Dispute"New York Times, New York, 13 January 1985.
  9. ^ John Mutter. "Rizzoli To Close All But Flagship Store"Publishers Weekly, New York, 17 May 2001.
  10. ^ "World's Most Elegant In-Store Bookstore? Rizzoli Opens In Saks Fifth Avenue"Huffington Post, New York, 10 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Rizzoli to Run Bookstore in New NYC Italian Mega-Store Eataly "Publishers Weekly, New York, 30 August 2010.
  12. ^ James Barron, "It’s Leaving 57th Street, but Rizzoli Bookstore Vows Sequel"New York Times, New York, 11 April, 2014.
  13. ^ Hana R. Alberts, "57th Street's Beautiful Rizzoli Bookstore Is Totally Destroyed"ny.curbed.com, New York, 18 June, 2014.
  14. ^ James Barron, "It’s Leaving 57th Street, but Rizzoli Bookstore Vows Sequel"New York Times, New York, 11 April, 2014.
  15. ^ NY Times Editorial Board, "The Tyranny of Glass Boxes" New York Times, New York, April 21, 2014.


  • Braun, Markus S. (2012). Bookshops: Long-established and The Most Fashionable. New York: Braun. ISBN 9783037681220.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)