Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Close to Heaven: Nation’s Oldest Mall Transformed into Micro-Apartments

Posted by on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:39 AM

It's too good to be true:

Built in 1828 by architects James Bucklin and Russell Warren, the Greek Revival structure was the nation’s first enclosed shopping mall. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1976, but by 2010 had made the Providence Preservation Society’s 10 Most Endangered Buildings list.

Working with J. Michael Abbott of Northeast Collaborative Architects, developer Evan Granoff sliced up the Arcade’s two upper floors into 48 apartments. Thirty-eight are micro—between 225 and 450 square feet—a scale that brings the new spaces closer in line with the mall’s 1828 design, according to Granoff. “It’s allowing us basically to put the building back to what it was when it was built...”


But it's for real!

Finally, a place for the ghost of Walter Benjamin to roam. Again, anyone who is serious about the future of humankind has to take micro-living seriously. The American way, at a global scale, only leads to our extinction. We need to see this as the only way to our survival.

 

Comments (23) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
evilvolus 1
If the future of humanity is 225 sqft homes, I'll take extinction, thanks.
Posted by evilvolus on February 21, 2013 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Banna 2
It sounds pretty reasonable, as long as I can afford one for each member of my family to live in separately.
Posted by Banna http://www.ucp.org on February 21, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
lark 3
Good Morning Charles,
I, too like that trend. That reminds me of those micro-apartments that are available in London.

Ages ago (80s), I rendered a visit to a great friend then living in Vienna. I vividly recall his flat. It was a mere two rooms, a kitchen and a bedroom/salon and had no toilet. That was a separate space shared by other tenants (4- 6?) that lived on the same floor of a multi-storied building. I remember asking him where he took a shower. He then proceeded to show me where. In the kitchen, I noticed what looked like a pantry. In fact, he open the doors and out popped a floor with a drain hole. Atop, was a small tank with an attachable hose that could connect with the kitchen basin spigot. He merely filled the tank and flipped a switch to heat the water. After a few minutes, he mounted a shower cutain to the device and was able to shower.

Micro living at its finest.
Posted by lark on February 21, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this
4
why do you live in a SFH charles?
Posted by goldys whats wrong with america on February 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 5
#1 LOL thank you for that. A chortle is nice once in a while. 300sqft is tiny given that 66% of Americans are overweight and some VERY large. These must be for their pets.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 21, 2013 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Sean Kinney 6
I'm down, Charles!. You first.
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on February 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM · Report this
kamsbry 7
Yeah....no. But I am selling a 2400 sq ft. house and moving my two kids and myself into a townhouse half (or less) the size. The smaller space will help restore my sanity but 10-12% of the space would drive me over the edge.
Posted by kamsbry on February 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
evilvolus 8
@5 - Seriously. The dorm room I was in at the UW was roughly 200 sqft. No bathroom, no cooking area, just a bunkbed, closet and desk along one wall.
Posted by evilvolus on February 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
9
Is there a missing link or video in this post? Where's the original article?
Posted by tollenetra on February 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
I'd always thought Minnesota's Southdale Mall was the nations oldest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southdale_M…

But I guess it's only the oldest "climate controlled" enclosed mall.

so many minor distinctions... sheesh.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
fletc3her 11
Isn't a 225 foot apartment just a studio?
Posted by fletc3her on February 21, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
evilvolus 12
@11 - By the technical definition, sure. Realistically, most studio apartments are 400-600 square feet.
Posted by evilvolus on February 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Report this
13
@9 I'm with you. What is this place he is talking about?

Charles, where is this arcade? There is no name in your post, nor is there a link.
Posted by cracked on February 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 14

Looks like a scene from Escape from Alcatraz !

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
15
This is in Providence, my old home town. It closed a few years ago and has lain fallow ever since. I'm glad to find they're doing something with it.
Posted by Nabokov's Nose on February 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
16
I think Charles did do his share of micro-living. I remember reading in one of his articles that he used to live in an abandoned elevator shaft.

I think micro-living can be very appropriate for a certain percentage of people at certain phases in their life; I don't think the intent is to have 100% of the population live that way. We should ignore the demagogues who think this is some sort of conspiracy.
Posted by mlv888 on February 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
17
The link is only viewable on a non-mobile browser, but all you mobile-ers should fire up your real computer just to check it out.

Because Charles somehow failed to mention that the Providence Arcade is freaking gorgeous, inside and out. And that it is located in the epicenter of one of the most compact, most walkable, most aesthetically pleasing, and most back-from-the-brink downtown success stories of the modern era. In the summer, this will happen on your block!

$500 to live in The Arcade? Yes, please!
Posted by d.p. on February 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
very bad homo 18
I love them, but I'll stick with my 450 Sq. feet.
Posted by very bad homo on February 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
19
I live with four cats very comfortably in about 394sf (mid-town Toronto, $820/month). The kitchen has a full-size refrigerator and oven and tons of cabinet storage, and the bathroom has a bathtub. People should not have to live in window-less shoe boxes.

Here's the site for the Providence Arcade micro-lofts. http://www.arcadeprovidence.com/micro-lo…
Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on February 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
I'll second @17. The Providence Arcade is gorgeous, and downtown Providence is a terrific small downtown. Is Club Babyhead still there?
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 21
Oh, those floorplans look really smart, too! I want those to be here!

Posted by icouldliveinhope on February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
22
@20, nope. By the end of the '90s that was a goth club called Club Hell. Gentrification got the amazing former Lupo's space in the Peerless department store, for both better and worse, and any clubs you remember in the Jewelry District got rearranged when they relocated I-195.

The last time I visited (I'm actually from Boston), condo towers (slightly more aesthetically successful than South Lake Union) had started to spring up around Waterplace Park, and the Masonic Temple that had lain dormant since 1929 had a Marriott hotel in it.
Posted by d.p. on February 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Tracy 23
Exposed!! Another lie from my childhood. While it never quite made sense to me (as we're such a new city in the scope of the country), I was always told that Northgate was the first enclosed mall in the country. Not sure why I believed it, but the story came from my uncle and included some story about our cold/rainy weather making it necessary. I mean, now that I spend 5 seconds examining this claim, I see so many potential flaws in it. But, as a child, I accepted it and added it to my pile of local lore. Sheesh.
Posted by Tracy on February 22, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy