You can just barely make out the word “livery” on an apartment building at 329 6th Avenue between West 3rd and 4th Streets in Greenwich Village, and two larger letters, “TO” above it. My guess is that the sign formerly said “Tower Livery Stable.”
Used by itself, the word “Livery” means “uniform” and the meaning has been extrapolated over time to mean a rental vehicle since the personnel who operate them wore uniforms. When used with “stable” or “yard” livery means an accommodation where horses can be boarded and rented for a fee.
Before the auto age, ole Dobbin was the chief means of getting about town, and remnants of signage for boarding stables can still be seen around town if you know where to look, as at West 17th Street off 6th, and at West 10th and Greenwich where there are surviving painted signage for stables.
This sign has survived as a taller building went up just north of it several years after the sign was painted.