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Proto-Mall: 1906

Proto-Mall: 1906

1906. "The Arcade -- Providence, Rhode Island." This 1828 Greek Revival structure, fronting on Westminster and Weybosset streets, bills itself as the first enclosed shopping mall in the United States. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Flat Stanley?

The guy leaning out of the window looks like a cardboard cutout.

[His elongated perspective is an artifact of the view cameras with tilt-shift lenses that were used to make these exposures. - Dave]

Man in the window?

Is this really a person or a perhaps a large lifelike photograph. Head and shoulders look so much larger than the man on the street (light colored jacket/barber tunic) directly below. Seems the man on the street would be closer to camera lens and therefore slightly larger.

Not very deep

That man in the window looks two-dimensional!

It always feels like somebody's watching me

Like the mustachioed man in the window.

A Little Gem

I grew up in Providence, and this is one of my favorite buildings: three floors, fancy ironwork, skylights. You can't appreciate the inside from the rather drab outside.


From the top left window.

I wonder if he is the owner of the office, as a paid employee of this era would not have dared to peek out at the kerfuffle outside.

A Fine Mess

Why do the gents in bowler hats all look like Stan Laurel?

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