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Shoe Repair Shop Filing For Landmark Status Ahead of Closing

Image via <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/midtown-shoe-repair-shop-open-81-years-landmark-status-article-1.1750842">NY Daily News</a>
Image via NY Daily News

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Yet another midtown space is looking for landmark status. The Daily News reports that Jim's Shoe Repair, an 82-year-old business that's being forced out so the neighboring Duane Reade can expand, has filed a request with the Manhattan Supreme Court to landmark the space.

"Four generations of Roccos have learned and performed the skilled craft of shoe cobbling and leather repair craftsmanship at Jim's," the court papers read in part. Its "historical significance and its original and uniquely antique interior," which includes six private wooden seating booths that have remained unchanged since its opening, should qualify it as a landmark.

83-year-old owner Joseph Rocco Jr., the grandson of the founder, has filed for landmark status before. He told the paper that the Landmarks Commission "met privately" last October, "without any public notice, meeting or hearing," and denied his request.

Their response? "The interior of the shop that is accessible to the public does not appear to have significant interior architectural features to meet the criteria for designation."

When loyal customers first heard that the business would be shut down in September—for which they had been given no previous warning—they started an in-store petition to try and save Jim's.

"What's happening to the city is horrible," Rocco said to the blog Jeremiah's Vanishing New York when news broke of the closing. "There's no character in the neighborhoods anymore. We're losing the history of the city. These places are like a time capsule. If you lose it all, who's going to remember?"
· Family-Owned Midtown Shoe Repair Shop Wants Landmark Status [NYDN]
· 82-Year-Old Shoe Repair Store Overtaken by Duane Reade [Racked NY]
· An Eleventh Hour Scramble To Landmark the Interior of Rizzoli [Racked NY]

Jim's Shoe Repair

50 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022