Bank Street Bookstore to Close After 50 Years

Bank Street Bookstore, in operation since 1970, is closing its doors at 2780 Broadway at 107th Street for good at the end of August, the store’s manager announced on Wednesday.

The store’s closure starting in mid-March and the difficulty of reopening with social distancing measures in place made it impossible to stay open, said manager Caitlyn Morrissey. The store initially opened in the basement of Bank Street College of Education on 112th Street. It moved into its current home in 2015.

The full note is below and posted on the store’s website.

Dear Loyal Customers,

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold across the nation, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close the Bank Street Bookstore at the end of August. Despite our efforts to strengthen sales over the past few years and our wonderfully knowledgeable booksellers, the temporary closure of the store since mid-March combined with the challenge and cost of meeting ongoing social distancing measures has led us to this decision. We will continue to serve our readers and fill orders, including items not currently in stock, through July 17, followed by a final sale of current inventory through the month of August. Curbside pickup will be available through July and August, if you’d like to say a safe, socially distanced farewell. Please keep an eye out for further announcements of sales so we can send you off with as many good books as possible!

We are deeply grateful for the support of our customers during this unprecedented time and throughout the many years prior. In 1970, the Bank Street Bookstore opened in the lobby of Bank Street College of Education. Originally intended as a small store serving the needs of the College community, the Bookstore grew into a resource for the neighborhood and for parents and educators worldwide. The Bookstore also regularly welcomed authors and illustrators for special events, creating a space for children and their families to find joy in books together and foster a shared love of reading.

Historically, children’s literature has been a significant part of Bank Street’s work, beginning in 1937 with The Writers Lab—a workshop for published authors to encourage and critique each other’s works-in-progress. The program, which continues to operate today, focuses on producing high-quality children’s literature that shows an understanding and appreciation of the language of growing children, is aware of and responsive to children’s real and imagined worlds, and affirms the social and cultural heritage of every child.

We will continue to look for ways to honor and maintain Bank Street’s important history and deep expertise around children’s books. As Bank Street Founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell said so precisely in our mission statement, “We see in education the opportunity to build a better society” and books—with their ability to help children discover and learn more about the world—can be tools to do just that.

As of September 1, the Bank Street Bookstore will sadly join a growing list of small businesses that have closed amid the pandemic. As the book industry continues to navigate this time, we encourage you to support independent bookstores in any way you can.

Thank you to all who have visited the Bank Street Bookstore over the years. Our staff has loved watching our neighborhood’s children grow up. We will miss you deeply.

With gratitude,

Caitlyn Morrissey
The Bank Street Bookstore

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 36 comments | permalink
    1. Steve Metzger says:

      Too sad for words.

    2. Marie Taylor says:

      So sad. Been shopping with you since 1974, when my daughter entered Bank Street School for Children as a 4-year old. We.followed you to the corner, and then down to your current location. These days, my grandsons are the recipients of your intellectual largesse. Many thanks for the wonderful, priceless memories you’ve provided over the years. All the best, to the best!

    3. Jeff Berger says:

      Bank Street Writer was the first WYSWIG word processing software. I used it in high school (1980s) on my Atari 800 computer.

    4. Mai says:

      Too, too sad😢

    5. Marianne says:

      This is tragic. Such a quality bookstore with caring, helpful staff who helped my daughter select wonderful books over the years!

    6. Abbey L. Berg says:

      I feel ill. My children and grandchildren have prospered from Bank Street Book Store. For years I have bought baby gifts from Bank Street. What better way to celebrate a birth and give the gift of books and reading. I was thrilled when you moved into my building. To say I am sad and devastated by this news is an understatement. My grandchildren will be also.

    7. Brooks Brothers, in business since 1818, and with retail outlets in our neighborhood, filed today for Chapter 11 bankruptcy…

    8. Em Jay says:

      Hello, this is v sad. Did you apply for PPP? Sounds like it would have helped. FYI it might not be too late if Washington agrees to a 2nd stimulus. If not (or denied) would Columbia not agree to help the business thru a difficult summer/fall? Their budget ought to allow it.

    9. Robert Young says:

      This makes me sad. My daughter (7), just loves the selection, the scale, and the staff.

      Thank you Bank Street Books for years of joy.

    10. Janice says:

      Wow. This is so sad.

    11. Barbara Mellor says:

      This is just too sad. My daughters grew up cherishing their trips to Bank Street Bookstore for a new book or a birthday gift for friends. I was hoping you would be there when the time came to buy books for a grandchild. You will be sorely missed!

    12. Linda says:

      There is no children’s bookstore with the quality stock and kind and helpful employees of Bank Street. We were there very often and always purchased wonderful books.This news is most unsettling at a time when we can least accept more distress and disappointment.We wish the best to those who have made BSB so special.

    13. Frank says:

      Although I have not been a customer I grieve your loss.

    14. Maryellen says:

      What a touching good-bye letter! This truly is tragic. I love the Bank Street Bookstore. There’s a hole in my heart.

    15. What a gift to the community this store has been. They even carried the marvelous books of the wonderful Brian Wildsmith. It’s like losing a beloved teacher.
      When are we going value and save the things that touch our hearts and souls and not just “jewelry?”

    16. Meno Toutsidis says:

      This is sad news and I have to say I’m reminded of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, “Youv’e Got Mail”, particularly in relation to children’s books. Very sad for the neighborhood.

    17. cma says:

      This is double,triple sad. Now there will be NO BOOKSTORE on the UWSide for over a mile from 86th Street to 112th Street.

    18. Kate says:

      Nooooooo! Is there any possibility of a fundraiser to help?
      We don’t want to see you go!

    19. Lauren says:

      That’s a real loss. So sad to see it go.

    20. Stu says:

      So sad. My daughter grew up with weekly story time at the bookstore. So beloved in our little community.,

    21. Jane says:

      It seems like a lifetime ago, but it’s just been a few years . . . When my daughter’s family and I all lived on the UWS and I would go with my elder grandson to hear story hour at Bank Street Books. And then go for a bagel. And then a walk over to the park with the Straus memorial (the reclining lady). The area will be so much poorer without Bank Street Books!

    22. UWS Teacher says:

      As a teacher in the the neighborhood, I always enjoyed my trips to Bank Street to buy bulletin board boarders and books for whatever unit I was teaching. What a loss.

    23. iz says:

      wow…this one hurts.

    24. NYYgirl says:

      😢went many many many times as a kid, have been taking my own kids for years- they will be as sad as I am. They save their allowance so they can spend it all at Bank St Bks. 😢

    25. Jeff Lee says:

      My family and I spent many happy hours in your bookstore over the years, as my children grew and explored new genres, new authors, and new games! Thank you so much for the wonderful memories of those happy times! Good luck in your future endeavors!

    26. Nothing left but Amazon says:

      America is over. Spread the word.

    27. J says:

      I grew up going to this bookstore, and I just had a baby girl last month. One of the things I looked forward to about raising her in our neighborhood was taking her to the bookstore and being part of the community. This is heartbreaking.

    28. Anne says:

      That is the saddest news I heard all day. We must have bought hundreds of books there since our kids were little and still bought YA novels and educational materials. My favorite book store of all times. I have also loved your theme displays for Black, Asian, and a Native American months, the BLM displays, the LBGT displays. We will miss you so much! Thank you for everything you gave us!

    29. Jack says:

      My comment is that why are there no.comments about a 29 year old shot and left for dead at 3 in the morning? There are lots of comments about a book store and restaurants. What is going on?? What is happening to NYC?

    30. UWSer says:

      So sad. Will miss you. No better place to get decent kids’ books around here.

    31. Hans says:

      this is the saddest news I’ve heard all year

    32. Leslie Rupert says:

      This is so sad. This is a wonderful shop.

    33. Jane says:

      silently weeping as I write this

    34. Marsha Hurst says:

      My grandchildren will be devastated. Getting to choose a book at Bank Street Bookstore is always a highlight of their visit. Our family members have been devoted patrons of the store for almost the entire 50 years of its existence. How very sad.