Shotengai of the World
February 2, 2012 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Japan has shotengai (covered shopping arcades). We don't have any in Toronto (probably because of the climate). Where else do they have shopping arcades? Are there any in places with climates similar to Toronto? Links and pictures would be appreciated.

I've seen pictures of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and I've been to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul so I know they exist outside of Japan.

What I would like to see are examples of other shopping arcades, especially ones that aren't such famous attractions in themselves or ones in places that have real winters.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm to Grab Bag (37 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is in Brussels and The Passage is in St. Petersburg.
posted by jedicus at 10:43 AM on February 2, 2012

Would Boston's Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall count?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:43 AM on February 2, 2012

There are some remaining in Paris: New York Times article. List of Paris shopping arcades from Wikimedia Commons.
posted by dayintoday at 10:45 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's a small one in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:45 AM on February 2, 2012

Leeds has a few, the largest of which is the Victoria Quarter.
posted by Jehan at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2012

There's plenty in Cardiff, Wales
posted by vacapinta at 10:57 AM on February 2, 2012

Not only Milan but also Torino.
posted by vacapinta at 10:59 AM on February 2, 2012

Bern, in Switzerland, has over six kilometers of shopping arcades. They're different from the shotengai, though - the street is open, there are arcades on both sides of the street, and the first story of the buildings comes over the top of the arcades. Like this.

I feel like I've seen these in Turkey but can't think of a specific one.
posted by mskyle at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2012

Would the Pike Place Market in Seattle not fit this bill?
posted by Pecinpah at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas (bonus points for weird-ass light shows on the street-covering canopy).

Ching Young Village in Hanalei is pretty awesome.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2012

The Chester Rows look similar to the Bern arcades.
posted by sianifach at 11:07 AM on February 2, 2012

Paddock Arcade in Watertown, NY!
posted by verbyournouns at 11:09 AM on February 2, 2012

There's a list of historical ones on the german wikipedia page: LadenPassage.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 11:14 AM on February 2, 2012

Diagon Alley? Apparently Ms. Rowling thought they are a good idea.
posted by Cranberry at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2012

The Burlington Arcade in London is a pretty famous one. Another is Leadenhall Market. Covent Garden is one, converted from a vegetable market. There's a small one in Letchworth, the town I grew up in, just north of London. I'd guess they're quite popular in places with temperate, but rainy climates.
posted by rhymer at 11:25 AM on February 2, 2012

The old Shoppers' World in Framingham, Massachusetts is often considered one of the world's first malls, but it was really more like a two-story covered arcade. It was torn down in 1994 and replaced with a parking lot surrounded by big box stores.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:28 AM on February 2, 2012

Plaza St. Hubert in Montreal looks something like this. which is sort of like what you have in mind. and Montreal is a lot like Toronto, weather-wise.

I would say that a closer equivalent, in terms of function if not form, would be the Montreal underground city and PATH in Toronto.
posted by spindle at 11:29 AM on February 2, 2012

There is the Covered Market in Oxford that has been running since 1772.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:36 AM on February 2, 2012

and my boss was reading over my shoulder and thought of the Flower Passage in Istanbul.
posted by spindle at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2012

They definitely have these in London. Spitalfields Market and Borough Market are both covered, with mostly stalls inside but some permanent stores within the covered areas. Camden market also has some covered arcade-like parts.
posted by MadamM at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2012

I think these were once very common in the U.S. Off the top of my head, there's Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor, MI, Westminster Arcade in Providence, RI, which I guess is under construction now, and Latta Arcade in Charlotte, NC.
posted by Sock Ray Blue at 11:57 AM on February 2, 2012

Rats, here's the link for Latta Arcarde. Also, Chinatown Square in Chicago might fit the bill. Here's a good picture.
posted by Sock Ray Blue at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2012

There's the Passage in The Hague.
posted by rjs at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2012

Hays Galleria in London and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan are two I can think of off the top of my head
posted by ComfySofa at 12:06 PM on February 2, 2012

Cock.. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
posted by ComfySofa at 12:07 PM on February 2, 2012

Warringah Mall in the northen suburbs of Sydney.
posted by trialex at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2012

There are loads in Australia: Royal Arcade, Block Arcade, Cathedral Arcade and Kings Arcade in Melbourne; Brisbane Arcade and Elizabeth Arcade in Bisbane; the Regent and Adelaide Arcade in Adelaide. In Sydney, the Queen Victoria Building is like a giant stand-alone arcade! There's also the Strand Arcade.

The arcade-style setup quite common in regional areas and suburbs everywhere in Aus too. Not as pretty as the links above, but still a covered laneway open at each end. If I had to take a stab at the age of the more standard ones, I'd say mostly 1960's-70s? Before malls and shopping centers became the default!
posted by t0astie at 12:48 PM on February 2, 2012

Cleveland has a lovely arcade. But then, Cleveland has many lovely things.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2012

Westminster Arcade in Providence (constructed in 1828, represent!) is an entirely enclosed building. A lot of shopping arcades in New England are like that, for obvious reasons (it gets goddamned cold here). Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace in Boston and Thorne's Marketplace in Northampton are also examples.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2012

Grove Arcade, opened in 1929, in Asheville, NC.
posted by greta simone at 1:50 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

And the Passages of Paris.
posted by bwonder2 at 2:01 PM on February 2, 2012

These are all good, keep them coming!

I'm finding it interesting that most of these arcades look like early shopping malls - one large structure with smaller shops inside. The Japanese Shotengai are for the most part streets with a roof put over the top. The buildings are all of differing sizes and construction - many extending above the roof of the arcade, and they are open to vehicular traffic (although this may be limited to after-hours for the busier arcades). This seems to be more like the original Parisian model, as in the Passage des Panoramas (thanks bwonder2, I had no idea this originated in Paris!).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:16 PM on February 2, 2012

I don't think it originated in Paris--the bazaars and souqs of the Middle East are older, and were likely to have been the inspiration for the Parisian passages. See the Bazaar at Isfahan (parts of which date back to the 10th century) as an example.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:34 PM on February 2, 2012

There's a brief history of shopping arcades in this discussion of Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project:

The construction that is generally accepted as the first example of the Paris arcade proper was the Passage des Panoramas, opened in 1800 when Napoleon Bonaparte was First Consul, and still in existence. There had been earlier partial precursors in Paris. The "Galeries de Bois" or Wooden Galleries inside the Palais-Royal - the former Royal Palace and residence of the Orléans branch of the royal family - offered, from 1790 until their demolition in 1828, a traffic-free space where a multitude of traders served thronging crowds under a wooden roof, and which, in literature, is the subject of a celebrated description in Illusions perdues (Lost Illusions), Balzac's classic fictional exposé of Parisian society published in 1843. However, the Passage des Panoramas was certainly the first of the purpose-built glass-roofed arcades, and, therefore, of the arcades proper. This arcade, situated just off the rue Vivienne near the Bourse or Stock Exchange, to this day contains a multitude of small shops and restaurants, and culminates in the back entrance to the Théâtre des Variétés.
posted by verstegan at 2:54 PM on February 2, 2012

What about pacific mall? All the mini stores are housed within one large building, so I think that counts..?
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 7:46 PM on February 2, 2012

Birmingham (UK) has at least three Victorian arcades including the Great Western Arcade as well as the smaller and shorter Piccadilly Arcade and Burlington Arcade.
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:25 AM on February 3, 2012

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