LLB Architects, Nat Rea (photo)

Micro Lofts at the Arcade

Architecture Firm: Northeast Collaborative ArchitectsLocation: Providence, RI Category: Historic Preservation

The arcade was built in 1828 in the Greek Revival style and is regarded as the nation’s first enclosed three-story shopping mall. The arcade was listed on the national register of historic places in 1971 and is notable not only for its striking architecture, which includes ionic columns at both entrances to the building, but also for the memories many Rhode Islanders have of strolling through the building. The arcade has been shuttered for the last three years. in that time, the Providence Preservation Society placed it on its list of the city’s 10 most endangered properties.

The architects created 48 innovative micro-lofts on the building’s second and third floors and 17 micro retail spaces on the mall level. The $7 million adaptive reuse project respects the Arcade’s historic design, but the building is modernized with double-hung windows to bring in more light. the furnished one bedroom units range in size from 225 to 450 square feet and feature full bathrooms, built-in beds, seating, storage, as well as kitchens equipped with refrigerators, sinks, dishwashers, and microwaves. When residents need more space than their cozy individual units offer, they can take advantage of a game room, tv room and porches. The arcade has other common amenities including on-site laundry, bike storage, locked basement storage