With National Buy-a-Book-Day (September 7) and National Literacy Day (September 8) just around the corner, it was high time to check in on one of our favorite bookshops, the beloved and recently relocated, Rizzoli. Preservationists, bookists and New Yorkers alike mourned the closing of its original location, a historical building that met the wrecking ball. With a move downtown, literally in the shadow of the Flatiron building, the new Rizzoli, with its wide-windowed frontage along Broadway, is bright and airy.
Our eyes were immediately drawn to the whimsical Fornasetti designed wallpaper running the length of the room, above the bookcases. Scenes of Italian cities floating in clouds, Zodiac figures and hot air balloons. The stunning Fornasetti collage was made exclusively for the Rizzoli flagship by Cole & Son.
Fornasetti designed custom-made wallpaper running the length of the shop
In keeping with the integrity and history of the 57th Street shop, the design firm Ike Kligerman Barkley used many of the classic fixtures from 57th Street, all preserved and re-introduced in the new space. This included the cherry wood bookcases and chandeliers.
The 5,000 square foot space, which boasts 18 foot ceilings, is on the ground-floor level of the historic St. James Building, with a history of its own. Built in 1896, it was once the grand St. James Hotel.
The collection is neatly divided into sections of bookcases and tables. In addition, they have a wide selection of European magazines and newspapers, CDs, DVDs, note cards and stationery.
As you walk toward the back, you will see the CDs and DVDs acting as divider for the yet unfinished space. Construction continues on the two additional rooms, which they hope to have completed very soon. In the area known as NoMad, Rizzoli is primely situated just three blocks north of the heavily trafficked Eataly and Madison Square Park. Located at 1133 Broadway at 26th Street, they are open Monday through Saturday in August, and seven days a week starting September.