Shopping along Ladies’ Mile: then and now

The Bed Bath & Beyond store on Sixth Avenue and 18th Street isn’t an ordinary big-box retail structure. Take a look at the massive bronze columns and huge lanterns flanking the entrance; they tip you off to the building’s elegant retail past. 

Bedbathandbeyond

It originally housed the Siegel-Cooper Department Store, opened in 1896. Until World War I, it was one of the city’s premier shopping destinations.

Carrying the latest fashions, gourmet foods, and furnishings, Siegel-Cooper was a star along Ladies’ Mile, the department-store district between 14th and 23rd Streets on Sixth Avenue that also featured retail giants such as B. Altman’s, McCreery’s, the Simpson Crawford Company, and the Hugh O’Neill Store.

All of these retailers are out of business now, though B. Altman’s moved to midtown as the city—and its main shopping district—inched northward. 

Siegelcooperoldphoto

This turn of the last century photo shows the same view of the building’s entrance as the first photo. The bronze columns and lanterns greeted customers then just as they do now.

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7 Responses to “Shopping along Ladies’ Mile: then and now”

  1. Cary Says:

    If you watch closely during the opening credits of The Late Show with David Letterman there are a few seconds where they show this building. It’s a night shot, taken from an uptown-bound vehicle on Sixth Avenue, of the three grandly lit arches above the main entrance to this building.

  2. History in the making - 5/30 | New York Real Estate Says:

    [...] Never Out Of Style Chelsea’s Bed Bath and Beyond, as it looked 100 years ago [Ephemeral New York] [...]

  3. joy Says:

    Oh, wow, thanks for posting that old shot. I love that building and pass it every day walking to 7th. I can never resist looking up at the ornamental upper stories that they say were done up so that the elevated train crowd would see it.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    I pass it a lot too and was thrilled to find the old photo. Those columns are really something.

  5. Joe Z Says:

    From the 1960s to around 1987, the ground floor of this building on Sixth Ave. (native NYers never call it Avenue of the Americas. Only hipster immigrants from Seattle do) was occupied by a district office of the NY State Department of Labor.

  6. Part 1 of Ethnographic Study « Katy in NYC Says:

    [...] http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/shopping-along-ladies-mile-then-and-now/ [...]

  7. Three views of Sixth Avenue and 20th Street « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] was part of the fabled Ladies’ Mile, where stores like Siegel-Cooper, Adams & Co., and Hugh O’Neill’s Dry Goods Store [...]

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