BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Curious George & Friends in Harvard Square is closing after 15 years.

Curious George president Hillel Stavis said on Monday that the children’s book store will close within the next two or three weeks because its 150-year-old building is falling apart. He said massive reconstruction has made it impossible to continue because the store has lost half of its selling and storage space.

He added that the ongoing sidewalk renovation project outside the store also helped seal their fate, making it harder for customers to get in the door.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.

Stavis also said competition from the Internet and electronic reading devices has made staying open untenable.

“The independent book business has really suffered a lot of blows and it’s technology-oriented. It’s kind of like waking up one morning owning a slide-rule factory the day after the calculator gets invented,” said Stavis.

Stavis and Donna Friedman launched the children’s book store in 1996 to honor their friends, H. A. and Margret Rey, the couple who created that naughty little monkey.

They hope some internet entrepreneur will step in and figure out a way to carry the “Curious George” concept forward online.

Stavis said they tried to turn the colorful store into a nonprofit, but that didn’t work.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Ken MacLeod

Comments (5)
  1. Sarah says:

    This is very sad. I remember fondly shopping there with my daughter when she was young. Was it impossible to move to another location, like Arlington or Somerville? What about Brookline?

  2. Glenn says:

    Great…Now they can put another Abercrombie and Fitch, GAP or bank in it’s place..Hooray! Hooray for the man with the yellow hat.

  3. Marian says:

    Hey! Let’s go to the Mall of Harvard Square!! … and uniqueness now is oh, so rare!

  4. Peter Michaels says:

    How sweet! Stavis with stuffed dolls in his lap portraying himself as a champion of the area’s children. What he didn’t mention was the fact that he and Friedman have run THREE bookstores into the ground since the early 80’s. Perhaps a better run, more customer-friendly store(a posting about a germaphobe store manager hassling a mother and child customer is easily accessible)might have better served the families of this area.

Leave a Reply