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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Drive to Protect the Ladies' Mile Historic District Papers
 MS 2964

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Sophie Glidden-Lyon

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 11, 2015
Description is in English

Biographical/Historical note

The Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile Historic District was a community organization created in an effort to preserve the area of midtown known as the Ladies’ Mile. Roughly defined, the Ladies’ Mile spans the area from the East blocks of Broadway, to the west side of Sixth Avenue, 23rd to 14th street, including parts of Union Square, and a few blocks of Broadway down to 9th street. It contains approximately 400 buildings. Called the Ladies’ Mile because of the variety of department stores, clubs and restaurants that drew wealthy New York women to the area during the Gilded Age, the area includes the Flatiron Building, the Siegel-Cooper Building and many more. Most date to the late 19th century.

The effort to have the area designated a historic district began in the early 1980’s with Truman and Margaret Moore, a photographer and preservationist respectively. The couple took notice of the declining condition of many of the old department stores and combined their efforts to create a slideshow and lecture which highlighted the neighborhood's unique architecture and historic value. That slideshow eventually became a book, and along with Anthony C. Wood and Christabel Gough, the Moores organized the Drive to Protect Ladies’ Mile. Preservation advocate Jack Taylor joined in 1984 and spearheaded the effort as its president. It became an umbrella organization for a number of other preservation-minded groups, all focused on the midtown area. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the area a historic district in 1989.