Preservation Issues

We love Books and Preservation!

-The Strand Bookstore at 828 Broadway

-Conservancy Office Library

December, 2018

The Conservancy loves books and we love the Strand Bookstore, one of New York’s most cherished institutions. At a December 4 Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing, we spoke out in support of designating the Strand’s building as an individual landmark. (read our testimony)

The building at 826 Broadway is an 11-story Renaissance Revival style structure from 1902. It has a limestone and brick façade that features rich terra cotta decorative details and a magnificent cornice. The Commission held hearings that day on seven buildings on Broadway near 12th and 13th Streets. We supported the entire group for designation.

Books and bookstores are at the heart of what New Yorkers love about their City. The Conservancy has worked over the years to make sure that doesn’t change. We tried to save the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street and we said “NO” when the New York Public Library wanted to demolish their stacks. So we were sorry to see that the Strand’s owner came out very much against the designation, claiming that it would destroy the building.

But as Peg Breen, the Conservancy’s president, noted in a December 3 New York Times article, the Strand’s concerns are unfounded. “’No one is doing this to hurt the Strand, or add difficulties,’ she said. ‘They’re doing it to honor the building.’ Ms. Breen wants more buildings in the area to be landmarked, and hopes that designating the Strand’s building and the other six would pave the way, especially as a $250 million, 21-story tech training center is being developed near the Strand.”

We hope to hear more about the concerns the Strand has raised, and work toward a resolution that secures landmark protections for this treasured piece of New York history.

Read the Conservancy’s testimony before the Landmarks Preservation Commission.