The Paddock Arcade is a 19th-century shopping mall located in Watertown, New York. Built in 1850, it is the second oldest covered shopping mall in the United States. Since it has seen uninterrupted use since it opened in 1850, it carries the distinction of being the country's oldest, continuously operating covered shopping mall. The Paddock Arcade was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.Location and ArchitectureAt No. 1 Public Square, the arcade remains the benchmark structure in Watertown's historic downtown district. The structure runs perpendicular to the adjoining Paddock Building. The arcade was built in the Gothic style, topped with a glass roof that allowed daylight to filter through. The Paddock Building contains a 19th-century Italianate facade.HistoryThe arcade was built by Watertown native Loveland Paddock and designed by architect Otis Wheelock. It was based on similar arcades built during that era in the United States and Europe. Shops occupied the bottom floor, while the upper floors were used for office space.In about 1916, a large section of the Paddock Building was demolished to make way for the six-story Woolworth Building. In the 1920s, arcade owners put forth a major redesign of the arcade, eschewing its original Gothic interior with a more modern design, which included the installation of the current translucent, steel-and-wire-glass dropped ceiling between its second and third stories. This ceiling still allowed light to filter in from the arcade's glass roof.
Arts & Entertainment