Wish You Could Live Inside a Shopping Mall? You Can, and It’s in New England
Did you know that you can live inside the oldest indoor shopping mall in America? It's true, and it could be your reality.
The Arcade was built in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, in 1828 as the nation's first indoor shopping mall. Its architecture is simply stunning, with gigantic columns outside and intricately-designed green balconies lining the second and third floor balconies inside.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976, but has still faced struggles in recent years. The Arcade was shut down in 2008 and even landed on Providence Preservation Society's list of 10 Most Endangered Properties. But four years later, Northeast Collaborative Architects developed a new plan to reuse the building, and it underwent a $7 million restoration project. In the process, they transformed the second and third floors into 48 micro-lofts, while space for 17 shops remained on the ground floor.
Now, 8 years after the revamped Arcade building made its debut in Providence, you can actually rent or buy your very own micro-loft, which provides an affordable option for downtown living, but only if you're willing to spare a bit of space.
Welcome to Your New Humble Abode: A Providence Shopping Mall
These lofts may be small, but they make up for their lack of square footage in their stellar price point. A one-bed, one-bath, 263-square-foot loft is currently on the market for just $135 thousand. When WFSB visited The Arcade in November, a similarly-sized loft cost $900 a month to rent.