Hot Shop - 12.16.14

The Rizzoli in New York City was no ordinary bookstore in its seventies heyday. Celebrities flocked to this glamorous and buzzy temple of literature and culture.

When Rizzoli bookshop closed this past year on 57th Street many people lamented its loss. It was the last really elegant shop of it kind left in Manhattan. But for some of us, while its closing was sad, it was a tempered sadness. After all it wasn’t the real Rizzoli bookstore that had opened at 712 Fifth Avenue in the 1960’s. That particular shop, sold to Bendel a decade ago or so before, had been the ne plus ultra of American bookstores. Those of us who worked there during its glory years in the 1970’s and early 1980’s knew how absolutely unique it was.

Italian media mogul Angelo Rizzoli had an empire of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations throughout Italy, and bought the building because his reporters and media staff needed a New York headquarters. The bookstore was opened as a way of presenting Italian books and culture to Manhattanites.  More