Urban Fold

America's Oldest Mall Gets a Mixed-Use Makeover

The Providence Arcade, thought to be America's oldest enclosed shopping mall, suffered the same fate as many of its 20th century brethren when it was shuttered in 2008. A developer seeks to revive the building as a mixed-use "micro-loft" complex.
Muffet / Flickr

"Built in 1828 and declared a National Historical Landmark in 1976, the Providence Arcade — otherwise known as the Westminster Arcade or simply 'the Arcade' if you're a local— is known for its 'distinguished Greek Revival columns, granite walls, and classic facades,'” writes Matt Hickman. Despite its fine design and distinguished history, the arcade was not immune from the effects of the recession, and it shuttered in 2008.

A trendsetter from its birth, the vision for the arcade's renaissance is based on an emerging trend in urban living - micro-housing. "Developer Evan Granoff of 130 Westminster Street Associates believes that the salvation of the stately building with the big columns and huge history lies within tiny living ... and retailing." Retail space will average 400 square feet, while the 48 "micro-lofts" in the buildings upper floors will measure between 225 and 450 square feet.

"With a move-in date slated for later this spring, you can preview the Providence Arcade's micro-makeover at a museum exhibition that I'm finding myself writing about a lot these days: "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers” at the Museum of the City of New York," writes Hickman. "Floor plans, additional renderings, and a bit of the building's history can also be found at the development's website."

Full Story: America's oldest indoor shopping mall to be reborn as mixed-use micro-loft complex

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