The New York Sun reported yesterday that Gotham Book Mart, the venerated bookstore and attraction for many of New York’s literati, is up for auction today. Five floors of books, photos, and literary memorabilia – along with more mundane office furniture and bookshelves – will be sold at the behest of the city marshal. “It’s a sad ending to a very famous store,” James Cummins of James Cummins Bookseller, who once worked at the original Brentano’s, a block north of Gotham’s former location on 47th Street amid the Diamond District, said. In 2004, Gotham moved to 16 E. 46th St., the site of the former H.P. Kraus bookstore.
The Fine Books & Collections blog has more after speaking with the auctioneer, Elliot Millman. He said that it was a difficult situation and that it was his job “to recover the judgment” for the landlord, who is owed “between $500,000 and $600,000.” He said he expected the contents to be sold to a single bidder – “that’s the way I think it will go,” he said. Millman said the landlord planned to give any buyer of the entire contents until June 8 to vacate the premises. But anyone who wants to watch the proceedings must be aware that the entry fee to get inside is $1000 cash or certified check. “This is not a gallery sale like at Christie’s or Sotheby’s,” Mr. Millman said. “This is a sale by the City Marshal.”
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