My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Living at the Mall

8 Comments

Photo by Ben Jacobsen

Photo by Ben Jacobsen

Once a thriving shopping mall, by the late aughts, the Arcade Providence in Rhode Island was failing. Widely thought of as America’s first indoor mall, the Greek Revival structure was constructed in 1828 as the Westminster Arcade. Although the sellers on the second and third floors never did as well as those located on the ground floor, the mall nonetheless operated more-or-less successfully for nearly 180 years. But by 2008, the mall was in serious trouble. In 2010, the landmark building was on Providence’s “10 Most Endangered Buildings” list. Then developer Evan Granoff got an idea. Jumping on the tiny-living train, he proposed a plan to divide the space into 48 micro apartments, leaving only a few storefronts for a handful of key businesses that the residents could easily sustain. After many struggles with preservationists and the city’s DOB, his plan was approved. Completed in late 2013, the project opened to great acclaim, with a waiting list for tenants and the Multi-Housing News  Gold Excellence Award in the Best New Development: Adaptive Reuse category.

Both the common and living spaces are just beautiful, while remaining respectful of the original grand architecture. One-bedroom units start at $550/month, so they’re not just pretty; they’re pretty affordable, too. Almost makes me want to throw out all my stuff and move to Rhode Island!

You can read more about the project and the apartment features on ArcadeProvidence.com.

Rhode Island Collection

Rhode Island Collection

.Artist’s rendering by The Arcade Providence

mall 2

Photo by Ben Jacobsen.

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Photo by Ben Jacobsen.

mall 10

Photo by Ben Jacobsen

mall 11

Photos by Ben Jacobsen

mall 8

.Photo property of The Arcade Providence

mall 4

.Photo by Ben Jacobsen

mall 9

.Photo property of The Arcade Providence

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.Photo by Ben Jacobsen

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

8 thoughts on “Living at the Mall

  1. I’ve read about this place before and think it’s a great idea to rejuvenate what would otherwise be a decaying building and provide housing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s really well executed, too. One of the articles I read pointed out that the only way spare living like that doesn’t take a mental toll is if there’s a community and resources nearby. This certainly fits that model!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i live a few towns over in SE Massachusetts and might have to check it out before i move away. The Arcade was architectural awesome, so the apartments probably are, too! Thanks for sharing. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful idea! These are so lovely. I wouldn’t mind having one someday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so beautiful and entrancing. I’m in love with every bit of this!

    Liked by 1 person

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