The Ladies' Mile Historic District was a prime shopping district in Manhattan, New York City at the end of the 19th century, serving the well-to-do "carriage trade" of the city. Before becoming a shopping district, this area was residential and included rows of identical brownstone townhouses. Between the Civil War and World War I, the district was the location of some of New York's most famous department stores and upscale retailers, including B. Altman, Best & Co., Arnold Constable, Bergdorf Goodman, Gorham Silver, W. & J. Sloane, Lord & Taylor, and Tiffany & Co. The area also boasted upscale restaurants, booksellers and publishers, and offices and showrooms for piano manufacturers, such as in the Sohmer Piano Building.
The area first came to prominence in 1860, when the Prince of Wales stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, located on 23rd Street, signalling to New York's high society that the neighborhood was acceptable to royalty. Arnold Constable & Co. opened its cast-iron store in 1868.
The construction of the elevated train known as the El on Sixth Avenue in 1878 made the Ladies' Mile more accessible to lower class consumers. Extravagant shoppers would continue to arrive in carriages.
By the end of World War I, most of the buildings had been converted into warehouses, and lofts for manufacturers, as well as some residences. The majority of the buildings were not torn down, however, and by 1980 they had started to be renovated and re-converted into large retail stores at and above street level.