Nancy Bass Wyden, the third-generation owner of the building and the business, warns its new landmark status could destroy the popular store
In its 92-year history, the Strand, a New York institution and one of the worlds largest independent bookstores, has endured everything from the Great Depression to the explosion of Amazon.
It is a cruel irony, then, that having survived against the odds, the latest potential threat to the third-generation family business comes from an organisation whose purpose is supposed to be to protect.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced in June that it had granted the Strands home an 11-storey building between Manhattans Greenwich and East Villages landmark status, despite vocal opposition from its owner who warned it would destroy the popular store.
Now Nancy Bass Wyden, who owns both the building and the business, plans to sue the government agency, claiming the citys actions are unconstitutional.
Surrounded by decorative spines in the rare books room of the Strand building, home to the bookstore for more than 60 years and bought by her father, Fred, in 1996 with his life savings, she explained her opposition to the designation, which she said is an example of government overreach.
Its going to add a lot of extra red tape and bureaucracy and added cost which we dont need to be put on us and the government should be doing the opposite, she said.
They should be encouraging grassroots small businesses, people that have mass amount of employees, they should be helping them instead of hindering them with further governmental bureaucracy and restrictions. I call it a bureaucratic noose thats been put on my throat now.