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Micro Lofts at The Arcade Providence  Exterior  Photo by Ben Jacobsen

Oldest shopping mall in U.S. converted into micro-apartments


American shopping malls are fast becoming an endangered species. In fact, earlier this year, Amy Merrick of The New Yorker posed the question many are afraid to ask: Are Malls Over?

Put away the suburban-based sprawling behemoths and their ludicrous commercial rental costs for a moment and turn your focus to a mall that was, but is no longer.

Built in 1828, Providence Arcade in Rhode Island was the oldest indoor shopping mall in America before it closed in 2008. That which made it an architectural marvel made it a disaster for modern-day vendors. So, its cramped storefronts were converted into micro-apartments, and thus, kept alive one of the coolest commercial spaces this country has ever seen.

Take a look. No doubt these apartments are not for everyone, but the Providence community seems generally pleased a renovation kept this relic intact for generations to come.

Micro Lofts at The Arcade Providence  Main Level Micro Retail  Photo by Ben Jacobsen

The Arcade Providence view from second floor Photo Credit Ben Jacobsen

The Micro Lofts at The Arcade Providence  kitchen Bedroom Photo Credit Ben Jacobsen - Copy

Micro Lofts at The Arcade Providence Living Room  Photo by Ben Jacobsen

[Photos by Ben Jacobsen via Northeast Collaborative Architects]