Rhode Island December 08, 2019
The Arcade Providence In Rhode Island Is A Timeless Treasure That Was America’s First Indoor Mall
The Arcade Providence is a thriving retail center, a fantastic place to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and for some, a place to live. It also happens to be a cherished historic landmark that dates all the way back to 1828. The juxtaposition of historic architecture and modern amenities makes for a seriously unique shopping experience — to say that this is not your average shopping mall is a huge understatement.
The Arcade Providence is located in the heart of downtown Providence, and it's impossible to miss.
The stunning Greek revival architecture is not only impressive, but impossible to miss. The building has been called the most important example of commercial architecture in the city, and that's a pretty accurate statement.
The Arcade Providence was America's first shopping mall. And after a remarkable renovation nearly a decade ago, the building looks better than ever.
The top two floors are now micro lofts, small apartments that were efficiently designed for urban living. Retail shoppers are not able to access the apartments, so the residents can enjoy some privacy while also living at the top of a mall.
The ground floor is dedicated to retail space, but don't expect to find any giant chain stores here.
Instead, you'll see local boutiques and small business owners setting up their handmade items for sale.
From vintage streetwear to unique art and handmade beauty items, you'll find a little bit of everything here.
Needless to say, this is a great place to come for gifts.
The Arcade is also home to several great restaurants, like Rogue Island (farm to table cuisine) and Pizza Monster.
And if you need a pick-me-up, just stop by New Harvest Coffee & Spirits for a latte (or a cocktail in the evening).
Looking around, it's hard to imagine the building was constructed almost 200 years ago.
The building was originally designed by Russell Warren and Tallman & Bucklin. At the time, there wasn't much retail space on the west side of the Providence River.
The original mall was slow to attract customers. But eventually, a fashionable hat shop opened next door, which drew wealthy customers to the area. Before long, the mall was a popular place to shop.
And since its last renovation, it's never looked better.
The Arcade was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
But for Rhode Islanders, it's a timeless treasure.
Arcade Providence is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. 3 – p.m.
Address: 65 Weybosset St, Providence, RI 02903, USA