Fans of the bookstore lamented the plan to eliminate the shop at 1170 El Camino Real. Lily Rose Feldman, daughter of one of the owners, said that she grew up in the store, which has been in operation longer than she's been alive, and that it has been an important, beautiful place for her. "People have fallen in love in this magical space," she said.
She urged the commission to consider the implications of demolishing the historic building and encouraged consideration of the avocado tree on the property.
In an email, Paul Payton, who identified himself as a weekly patron of the store, wrote, "The alarming amount of terra-forming being done along El Camino Real is a harbinger of a hastened homogenization into modern 'warehousing-for-people' that is taking place along the Peninsula.
"I remember Ed Feldman, the original proprietor of the store. I know Ed's sons, who have inherited the establishment. Feldman's is a generational institution; it possesses an intangible and invaluable bond to the city. It should not be demolished without a thought. It should be evaluated as a key aspect of a city seeking to balance modern-day conveniences with tradition. With Feldman's gone, where is the seeker of knowledge to go?"
Christine Kalaveshi also opposes the plan, writing in an email to the council: "Please don't demolish the great historical building Feldman's Books is in. It's such a great and rare store that brings the joy of reading to so many people of all ages."
Adam Brosamer urged the council, in an email, to "Build housing without destroying important cultural landmarks."
Some planning commissioners criticized the architectural plans for being too modular. "If you're replacing a dear old friend," said Commissioner John Onken, describing how some of the bookstore supporters feel about the space, "it better be better than anything else on the block — and I don't see that at the moment."
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