Woman lives in America’s oldest mall after 48 abandoned shops are turned into homes


All over the world, people are jumping onto the trend of smaller “shoebox” living. Scaling back and living a more sustainable lifestyle is made possible with the compact, repurposed and/or off-the-grid living quarters.

Following in the steps of the sustainable living movement, one housing developer purchased the Providence Arcade, a bankrupted and abandoned mall, which also happens to be the oldest mall in America. Built in 1828, National Historic Landmark was the first indoor shopping mall in the United States.

The developer Evan Granoff bought Providence Arcade in 2005. By turning the upper-level retail spaces into micro apartments with businesses and the original sun-flooded atrium on the first level, Granoff believed he could restore the building to its former glory — and that’s exactly what he did.

Although the Arcade’s smallest apartments are just 225 square feet, all of the residents speak highly of their compact and sustainable living. Plus, waiting lists for these $550-per-month apartments mean the demand for these spaces is high.

In the video below, courtesy of Kirsten Dirksen, several residents of the Providence Arcade take viewers on a tour of their respective abodes.

It’s incredible how this structure has transformed over the centuries… and that such a historic building has been preserved while staying economically viable.


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