Last week I had the pleasure of talking to several other people about their experiences involving the Arcade. In one session I talked to Laura and Rosanna, who grew up in Providence together, and who shared their insights into the site through the lens of young pre-teens in the early 1980s.
Laura and Rosanna had some great memories involving rainbow headbands, christmas choirs, and cookies, among other things:
They also talked about how the Arcade was decorated and hung with garlands at Christmas time, and students from Classical High School, including Rosanna, performed with the choir in the Arcade:
It has been striking the frequency with which the tiles of the Arcade floor have come up. Marianne, Evie, and Rosanna all mentioned the tiles, with no prompting.
Another theme that has been emerging is the comparison between the Arcade and Providence Place Mall. The malls were responsible for pulling shoppers away from downtown, and away from the Arcade, but as Laura and Rosanna mentioned PPM has a very different feel from the fluorescent-lit, boxy malls of the 1970s. The skylight and multiple levels of PPM definitely give it an arcade-like feel, and it is interesting to maybe consider PPM as a reincarnation of the Arcade.