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Nickels Arcade an Ann Arbor Treasure.

In A Good Mix by Ed Penet

By this time, Mix in Nickels Arcade will be open for business. Michigan history and historic preservation are close to our hearts at both Mix stores. We feel it’s a great way to honor the community, our cultural past, and significant architecture.

You may know that Mix Ypsilanti at 128/130 West Michigan Avenue is located within the Ypsilanti downtown historic district and within what was known as Hewitt Hall, Ypsilanti’s first performance space. Nickels Arcade, our new satellite location in Ann Arbor, is also a significant historic site, and is registered in the National Register.

The Nickels Arcade was constructed between 1915 and 1918 in the turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts style and is an example of the commercial “arcade” or gallery. Built by Tom E. Nickels (Hermann Pipp and A. R. Cole & Company architects), the Nickels family continues its support of the Ann Arbor business community today.

By definition, an arcade is a succession of arches, each counter thrusting the next, supported by columns or piers, or a covered walk enclosed by a line of such arches on one or both sides. In warmer or wet climates, exterior arcades provide shelter for pedestrians. It can also be “a covered walk with stores along one or both sides” Below are more examples of arcades from around the world.

Source: Wikipedia

Bonne-Esperance Cloitre. Source: Wikipedia. 

The Bazaar of Tabriz (Persian بازار تبریز, Bāzār-e Tabriz) is a historical market situated in the middle of Tabriz, Iran. It is one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world.

The Bazaar of Tabriz (Persian بازار تبریز, Bāzār-e Tabriz) is a historical market situated in the middle of TabrizIran. It is one of the oldestbazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world. Source: Wikipedia 

Covered Market Inside

A picture inside Oxford’s Covered Market. Source: Wikipedia

Metz - Place Saint-Louis

Metz – Place Saint-Louis. Source: Wikipedia.

Ouarzazate souk

Ouarzazate souk. Source: Wikipedia.

Westminster Arcade

Westminster Arcade. Source Wikipedia. 

This arcade in Providence (above) is the one and only other arcade I ever knew about and visited frequently while I was at school in Providence … until I moved back to Michigan and into Ann Arbor, and into Nickels Arcade.

Much of this reference and all of the photos are from the Wikipedia website for Arcade. Much more data, cross-links and photos are available at that site. Thanks, Wikis and Google, of course.

– Ed

The Cleveland Arcade in downtownCleveland, OhioUSA, built 1890

About the Author
Ed Penet

Ed Penet

A dashing man with a love of women's fashion.


Ed PenetNickels Arcade an Ann Arbor Treasure.