NYC - Ladies Mile: Lord & Taylor Store
The Lord & Taylor Store, former Lord & Taylor Building, was built in French Second Empire style by James H. Giles in 1869-70. It served as the main Lord & Taylor Store until 1914 and today houses a china store, Villeroy & Boch. In the 1990s, it housed a topless club.
Founded in 1826, Lord & Taylor is the oldest department store chain in the United States, operating independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods in 1916. English immigrants Samuel Lord and George Taylor opened their first store on the Lower East Side in 1826. Prompted by A.T. Stewart's 1826 store, and increasingly wealthy clientele, and anticipation of the retail district's expansion east Lord & Taylor built this 5-story cast-iron facaded building, with a corner pavilion capped by mansard roofting, on the cobblestoned Ladies' Mile of Lower Broadway.
In 1914, Lord & Taylor was the first major department store to move to Fifth Avenue, when they relocated their flagship to its an 11-story brick brick and limestone palazzo at 38th Street.
The Ladies Mile Historic District, an irregular district defined roughly from 18th Street to 24th Street and Park Avenue South to Avenue of the Americas, preserves 440 buildings on 28 blocks. Between the Civil War and World War I, the district was the location of some of New York's most famous department stores, including Lord & Taylor, B. Altman, W. & J. Sloane, Arnold Constable, Best & Co., and Bergdorf Goodman. Also included is Daniel H. Burnham's Flatiron Building, at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street; most of the Ladies' Mile Historic District lies within the Manhattan neighborhood named after that building, the Flatiron District.
The Lord & Taylor Store was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1977.
The Ladies Mile Historic District was designated a historic district by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1989.