Friday, June 12, 2015

Funeral For A Shoe Repair Shop


After 94 years in business, Louis Shoe Rebuilders is getting the boot from their landlord, Empire State Realty Trust (aka the Empire State Building). Take this opportunity to show your love for the dying city. On Thursday, June 18th starting at noon, come to a funeral for this venerable small business hosted by #SaveNYC. Bring old shoes and flowers as an offering. Bring your #SaveNYC signs. Dress in funeral black. Eulogies welcome.

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Louis Shoe Rebuilders has been in business since 1921, originally located on the site of the Empire State Building before there ever was an Empire State Building. When the new skyscraper opened in 1931, the landlord took Louis in. But they won't be there for much longer. The 94-year-old shop will be closing at the end of June. Owner Beatrice Barbieri: "We're not having our lease renewed. They want $25,000 and nobody can pay that on shoe repair." The Empire State Building is owned by Empire State Realty Trust, run by the Malkin family, who bought the building from Donald Trump in 2002. The building is going through changes. Tony Malkin has said he considers it the center of Silicon Alley and a "premier urban campus" for tech companies. Ground-floor windows are papered with "Retail Space Available" signs. Banners wrapped around the scaffolding cheer: "$550 Million in Building Upgrades" and "Creating New Jobs in New York.” But jobs are also being destroyed here, like the one done by cobbler and store manager Julio Galvis for the past 27 years. [Story continues here]

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Louis Shoe Rebuilders is located at 25 W 33rd Street, in the Empire State Building. The shop's
entrance is on the street. The funeral is rain or shine (bring a black umbrella if it's raining).

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