Bookstore + Art Nonprofit

Bookstore + Art Nonprofit

Azikiwe Mohammed

Printed Matter
231 Eleventh Avenue
Tel: 212-925-0325
Architects: Handel Architects

Beloved local bookstore and art nonprofit Printed Matter recently moved to a 3,836-square-foot space in a former 1912 freight train terminal. Handel Architects, who designed the store pro bono, wanted to create a “cathedral of books” in the vertical, 30-foot-tall store. To do so, they carved out a “well” into the first floor, and then wrapped a black steel staircase up to the second floor. Elevated shelves create storage for overstock books and a series of steel filing units house posters and prints.


Whereas the old space was charmingly cluttered and a little scrappy, the new space carries out the utilitarian approach in a more straightforward way. “People would get confused [when they came in] because we carry unusual publications and serve a lot of functions,” Max Schumann, director of Printed Matter, said. “In this new space we can delineate our different focuses—visual art books, art, magazines, exhibitions, and office space—and, most importantly, can better present and take care of our books.”