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.
The Bank Street Bookstore