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2016 Village Award Winner: Strand Bookstore

strand_logo_2015Off the Grid is highlighting the 2016 Village Awards winners in the lead up to the June 14th Annual Meeting & Award Ceremony. Click here for more information about the event and to RSVP. Today we look at at the first of seven awardees, Strand Bookstore.

Strand Bookstore was founded in 1927 by Benjamin Bass as a used bookstore on the famous Book Row, which consisted of 48 book stores along Fourth Avenue from Astor Place to Union Square. Strand remains among the last of these bookstores.

Out of the 48 bookstores on 4th Avenue's Book Row, only the Strand remains
Out of the 48 bookstores on 4th Avenue’s Book Row, only the Strand remains. Photo by Alexander Alland Sr. via Strand Bookstore

Strand was expanded by Ben’s son Fred, who moved the store to its current Broadway and East 12 Street location in 1957. This amazing, family-owned business turns 89 years old this year. Fred will be 88 years old in June, and is still working in the store with his daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden.

Today Strand sells not only used books but also recent releases and rare books, and has the largest selection of art books in NYC. Its web business ships orders around the world. In addition to selling books, Strand hold six events a week, hosts tours for children visiting its fabulous children’s department, works on set designs for theater and film, and even assembles personal libraries for clients.

The original Strand, on 9th Street
The original Strand on 9th Street. Photo by Alexander Alland Sr. via image via Strand Bookstore

For many years Strand had a South Street Seaport location, which moved to Fulton Street in 1996 and closed in 2008. It has been a hard decade for local bookstores. Many of our local bookstores have closed their doors in the past few years including St. Marks Bookstop, Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, and Left Bank Books.  But through it all, Strand has continued to shine, employing a staff of over 200 and serving as a beacon for the neighborhood. GVSHP is honored to present the Strand with a 2016 Village Award, and we hope you will join us on June 14th at the awards ceremony to honor the Strand and other awardees’ contributions to the Village.



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