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


If the future of humanity is 225 sqft homes, I'll take extinction, thanks.
It sounds pretty reasonable, as long as I can afford one for each member of my family to live in separately.
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.
why do you live in a SFH charles?
#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.
I'm down, Charles!. You first.
7 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.
@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.
Is there a missing link or video in this post? Where's the original article?
I'd always thought Minnesota's Southdale Mall was the nations oldest:…

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

so many minor distinctions... sheesh.
Isn't a 225 foot apartment just a studio?
@11 - By the technical definition, sure. Realistically, most studio apartments are 400-600 square feet.
@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.

Looks like a scene from Escape from Alcatraz !

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.
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.
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!
I love them, but I'll stick with my 450 Sq. feet.
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.…
I'll second @17. The Providence Arcade is gorgeous, and downtown Providence is a terrific small downtown. Is Club Babyhead still there?
Oh, those floorplans look really smart, too! I want those to be here!

@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.
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.