Ladies Mile: Shopping in the Gilded Age
During the Gilded Age, the Ladies’ Mile was New York City’s retail center. Because of its popularity, women were able to shop unaccompanied by men for the first time. It was an area where finest objects in America were sold, from furs and French fashions to jewelry. King’s Handbook of New York City glowingly described the “fascinating, alluring, irresistible” shops that lined Broadway, 14th Street, and Sixth Avenue. The author demanded to know, “What are the Parisian boulevards, or even Regent Street, to this magnificent panorama of mercantile display?”
Join Royal Oak and architectural historian Matt Postal, for a closer look at the Ladies’ Mile Historic District and the lavish department stores and specialty shops that once flourished here. Starting with A. T. Stewart, who moved his trend-setting dry goods business to an entire block of Broadway at 10th Street in 1862, we’ll window shop and shop till we drop, stopping at masonry and cast-iron structures associated with Tiffany’s, Macy’s, Siegel-Cooper, Lord & Taylor and Stern Brothers — some of America’s first great retailers.