The Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island

Jack McCabe

Austin, United States

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ARCADE BUILDING. (1828) 65 Weybosset Street. Sole survivor of many such temples of trade built in America during the Greek Revival period and America’s oldest indoor shopping mall. Now, a lively marketplace with shops and eateries.

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The Arcade, at 130 Westminster Street (map), looks like an imaginative bit of urban renewal, but is in fact the creation of Russell Warren and James Bucklin, who designed the building in 1827. For a century and a half some of Providence’s better shops have operated in the Arcade. There are three levels of shops topped by a roof of glass panes; one modern addition to the Arcade is an elevator to take shoppers to the upper floors.

Decorative cast-iron balustrades and stairways recall the Arcade’s early 19th-century construction. Look at both facades—on Westminster Street and on Weybosset—which clearly show that each architect had his own idea of how the exterior should look. With two facades, each got his chance to do what he wanted.

Walk through the Arcade from Westminster Street to Weybosset Street, and turn right. Look for the golden dome which marks Providence’s historic:

Artwork Comments

  • Chris Charlesworth
  • Jack McCabe
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