A small scrap left over from a bygone retailer. B. Altman & Co. was one of those merchants who helped define New York retail in the early part of the previous century. The store went out of business in 1989; years later it was rehabbed by CUNY, and turned into a graduate center. The Charleston Garden was on the top floor, it seems, under a spectacular glass ceiling. It’s now the cafeteria.

I love this little tidbit about the early days of retail, from a history page since 404'd:

"Benjamin Altman was a savvy, but unusually humane, businessman. During his career he was the first major employer to install rest-rooms . . .”

Before that you just wet yourself, I guess. Perhaps each retail stall had a small floor drain and a bed of sawdust.