- 65 Weybosset St Providence
- 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 11am-4pm Sat
Lonely Planet review for The Arcade
Designed in 1828, the Arcade, America’s first enclosed shopping center, uses a form developed in Paris and London. Greek Revival in design, the airy, tile-floored passage, its marble steps worn into bows by the passage of bygone feet, has shops and cafés on three floors. It looks like a temple from the outside, while inside it is much like a street – a straight corridor leads to a second entry on Washington St. Bounding the sides of this corridor are ornamented, parallel facades three stories tall, today containing the inexpensive eateries and clothing boutiques that attract a bustling lunchtime crowd from the surrounding business district. Roofed in glass, the interior is awash in natural light. For the best effect, hike up to the galleries on the second or third floor and look over the old cast-iron rails at the crowds below, the floor creaking beneath your feet.