History of The Arcade Providence

The Westminster Arcade was built in 1828 and is the country’s oldest mall. It is in the middle of Westminster and Weybosset street and is made of beautiful granite walls.  Originally the mall was three stories of shops and restaurants, but now you will notice that the first floor consists of retail space, while the second and third floors are filled with micro lofts that are for rent.

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Arcade SOS.RI.Gov

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The Arcade was once a thriving center of the financial district.  It included stores that many today would not expect to find in a mall. Some included WM Mills & Son Photographs, A. Axelrod, (violin maker), and N.F. Kehoe Millinery (women’s hat shop). Unfortunately, the Arcade closed in 2008 because not enough retail space was being used. To revamp this old mall it took the commitment from several new stores to take over the empty retail spaces.

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Arcade Interior Carmen & Ginger

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Providence-Arcade The Film League

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Luckily, it reopened in 2013 with a number of new retail stores and restaurants like New Harvest.  New Harvest was the first to open in the new Arcade because of its separate entrance. Some other shops in the new Arcade include Nude (clothes and accessories made by local designers), Carmen & Ginger (a store for all things vintage), and Goddess Closet (a consignment shop). You can choose to shop at any mall, but you will never experience a mall with this much history and beautiful architecture.

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