Rizzoli Bookstore

Coordinates: 40°44′50″N 73°59′35″W / 40.7472°N 73.9930°W / 40.7472; -73.9930
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Rizzoli Bookstore
IndustrySpecialty retail
Founded1964 (1964)
FounderAngelo Rizzoli
New York, New York
United States
Productsnew and rare books, magazines, stationery, DVDs, CDs
OwnerMondadori group (via Rizzoli International Publications)
Number of employees
About 25
ParentRizzoli International Publications

Rizzoli Bookstore is a general interest bookstore, located in the St. James Building, 1133 Broadway in New York City, that primarily specializes in illustrated books and foreign language titles. Its previous location at 31 W. 57th Street was noted for its beautiful interior. After Rizzoli's lease expired in April 2014, the 57th St. building was demolished.[1][2] Rizzoli moved to its current NoMad location on July 27, 2015.[3] The Rizzoli Bookstore is indirectly owned by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, an Italian multimedia company, having acquired the books division from RCS MediaGroup. The direct parent company of the bookstore is Rizzoli International Publications, also known as Rizzoli New York.


In 1964, Angelo Rizzoli opened Rizzoli Bookstore at 712 Fifth Avenue in New York City; the building was designed by Albert S. Gottlieb in 1907 and inspired by the classical style of 19th century Parisian town houses. Angelo Rizzoli chose architect Ferdinand Gottlieb (no relation to Albert) to design the interiors. The Rizzoli store attracted legions of customers with its "marble floors, oak paneling, sparkling chandeliers."[4] 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 1960s, Roberto Polo, investment manager, art collector, and would-be design mogul worked part-time at Rizzoli while a graduate student at Columbia.[5] 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, Massachusetts; Costa Mesa, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and San Francisco, California; Dallas, Texas; Oak Brook, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6] In 1984, Rizzoli acquired Scribner's Bookstore on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan[7] 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.

In 1985, Rizzoli Bookstore relocated to West 57th Street.[8] The old Rizzoli building and the Coty Building next door were slated to be demolished for a new skyscraper at 712 Fifth Avenue,[9] but were saved at the last minute when they were designated as official city landmarks.[10] The new store occupied 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.[11]

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 curated selection of books on fashion, design, entertaining, interiors, special travel destinations and New York.[12][13]

On April 11, 2014, Rizzoli closed its flagship store on West 57th Street in New York, under the protest of customers and preservationists, when its lease expired. The LeFrak Organization and Vornado Realty Trust, which had owned the building since 2006, planned to raze it and two adjoining buildings.[14][15] Demolition started shortly after the bookstore closed.[16] 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.[17]

Rizzoli reopened at its current Broadway location in July 2015. The bookstore is now one of the key features of the NoMad Piazza, a pedestrian area cordoned off as part of the NYC Open Streets initiative.[3]

In 2015 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore acquired the parent divisions RCS Libri and Rizzoli International Publications from RCS MediaGroup. In 2016, the RCS Libri was dismantled by the new owner, which Rizzoli International Publications and Rizzoli Bookstore were owned by Mondadori Electa S.p.A., another subsidiary of the group instead.

In popular culture[edit]

Rizzoli Bookstore has been used as a prominent location in the films Falling in Love (1984), Manhattan (1979), and True Story (2015), in addition to television series such as Seinfeld.


  1. ^ HarperCollins (August 9, 2013). "16 Bookstores You Have To See Before You Die". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  2. ^ Braun, Markus S. (2012). Bookshops: Long-established and The Most Fashionable. Braun. p. 146. ISBN 9783037681220.
  3. ^ a b "Legendary Bookseller Rizzoli Reopens Doors Monday at New NoMad Location". Observer. July 22, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Dahlin, Robert (November 2, 1984). "Rizzoli USA". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  5. ^ Dunne, Dominick (September 15, 2008). "The Fall of Roberto Polo". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  6. ^ McDowell, Edwin (August 22, 1984). "Rizzoli Grows from 'Museums' to Book Chain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (December 10, 1984). "Rizzoli Acuires Bookstores of Scribner". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  8. ^ McDowell, Edwin (March 22, 1985). "Rizzoli Opens New Shop". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Rangel, Jesus (January 13, 1985). "Proposal for 5th Ave. Sparks Dispute". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  10. ^ Prial, Frank J. (January 31, 1985). "5th Ave. Tower Blocked by Vote for Landmarks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  11. ^ Mutter, John (May 17, 2001). "Rizzoli To Close All But Flagship Store". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "World's Most Elegant In-Store Bookstore? Rizzoli Opens In Saks Fifth Avenue"Huffington Post, New York, April 10, 2012.
  13. ^ "Rizzoli to Run Bookstore in New NYC Italian Mega-Store Eataly "Publishers Weekly, New York, August 30, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Barron, James (April 11, 2014). "It's Leaving 57th Street, but Rizzoli Bookstore Vows Sequel". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "LeFrak, Vornado give historic bookstore the boot for new tower". The Real Deal New York. January 15, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  16. ^ Alberts, Hana R. (June 18, 2014). "57th Street's Beautiful Rizzoli Bookstore Is Totally Destroyed". Curbed NY. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  17. ^ The Editorial Board (April 21, 2014). "Opinion | The Tyranny of the Glass Boxes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 9, 2020.

External links[edit]

40°44′50″N 73°59′35″W / 40.7472°N 73.9930°W / 40.7472; -73.9930