Greater City Providence

More Arcade Photos…

While there’s a good amount of news for me to post later, I thought that in the interim I would add to the avalanche of Arcade photos with two of my favorites from my own photography collection.


Photos by Bret Ancowitz

The news on WRNI this morning is that the 8 million dollar renovation is on hold now until a retail entity is found to occupy the building… This seems horrendously misleading to me. Wasn’t the whole reason to kick out the existing businesses seemingly overnight was that the renovations needed to be started, like, yesterday? Thinking about Jef’s post, could a possible angle here be that they want to be bought out by the city or a preservation group?

Bret Ancowitz


  • I can’t imagine that the city would have the dosh to buy the Arcade. Maybe the state, but probably not PPS. No one has any money. Any non-profit that had any funds squirreled away kissed them goodbye in the last month. The city can force the “landlord” to use the building though. The downcity merchants could sue the building owner for the building being empty and therefore bad for their business, or a nuisance.

  • I’d love to see someone with a little more vision take it off Granoff’s hands. Have it be food only on the first floor (both cafes and specialty foods), gallery space on the second, and a startup incubator on the third. That way it would be a destination for three different groups.

    The problem is, who could afford to do that given the carrying costs of the building? Maybe Cornish, but it might take them a while to get the gears turning.

  • Sigh. That balcony photo… I used to love sitting up there eating lunch and watching the city go by. 🙁

  • I concur. PPS would never have the money on hand to buy up a place like The Arcade. It also seems a little absurd to me that it’s valued at less than some houses on the East Side – I see that as a red flag. I could very easily see this developer trying to screw the state into buying the building as a way of bailing them out of this project though, by playing off the “emergency demo permit” hysteria created by the Grove Street School and the Produce Warehouse. Playing off of that hyper vigilance would be like taking candy from a baby. Even at that, I would almost prefer that Granoff be sleazy and get the state to buy the building because, well, at least that would mean it won’t be gutted.

  • I grew up in Providence and have many fond memories of the Arcade.
    On my way to Waterfire this evening, it broke my heart to see it all closed up and dark. Why the need to have a single occupant? It was a lovely
    place the way it was. My friends and I would walk there after school, eat at its many eateries, buy unique items from its shops. Haven’t lived in RI for decades, but I always delighted in showing my friends the Arcade
    when I visited Providence. It was such a wonderful human-scale structure.
    Please save it!

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