Peek Peek Sneak About

Interior of clandestine Providence Place Mall apartment

(photo via

As some of you have noticed, we’ve been having some server issues the past few days. That’s part of the reason we haven’t gotten much content up lately, but trust me, we’re working on something pretty neat.

Here’s some miscellany to tide you over, in case you’re starving for some mall-related reading:

An artist who set up a secret apartment inside of the Providence Place Mall in Providence, Rhode Island gets probation. Usually when people talk about apartments or condos at the mall, this isn’t what they have in mind:

“Michael Townsend, 36, said he and seven other artists built the apartment in a 750-square-foot loft in the parking garage four years ago and lived there for up to three weeks at a time while documenting mall life.

“The apartment included a sectional sofa and love seat, coffee and breakfast tables, chairs, lamps, rugs, paintings, a hutch filled with china, a waffle iron, TV and Sony Playstation 2 — although a burglar broke in and stole the Playstation last spring, Townsend said. The artists built a cinderblock wall and nondescript utility door to keep the loft hidden from the outside world.”

You can read about the clandestine mall apartment, watch a video about it, and see some photos at a website they established for it. According to a whois search, their site has been online since February. And it took mall management that long to find it?

Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, Texas

(photo from

Also, this isn’t mall-related, but it is about a unique piece of 20th century commercial architecture that’s been saved:

“As in the Tee Pee Motel, a throwback to the 1940s and ’50s, when taking a drive was still in style and roadside businesses used gimmicky architecture — like a gas station that looked like an oil derrick — to lure customers. The Tee Pee Motel is one of just a handful of tepee-themed lodges left in the country.

For years, however, Wharton’s Tee Pee Motel was little more than eleven gutted shells engulfed by a tangle of overgrown weeds and a broken sign that once beckoned guests with neon lights and an image of an American Indian chief.”

6 Responses to “Peek Peek Sneak About”

  1. I visited this place about 7 years ago when I discovered it after a relative of mine moved to Wharton, Texas and it was pretty overgrown. In fact I wore hiking boots to walk through that mess for fear a snake would bite me. I went into one of the teepee’s and it was void of everything just gutted, with barely any bathroom fixtures left. I am very happy that it has been restored and hopefully they will build a pool so I can make a weekend trip there .


  2. I always wanted to see what it was like to live in a mall and these guys actually did it. Bravo! 😀


  3. Planning something new and exciting??? I can’t wait to see what that is!!! 🙂


  4. Love the guys in the mall “apartment” — very “Dawn of the Dead” ’78 — right down to the sectional sofa!


  5. Living in a mall? You can’t get everything needed to survive at a mall. Maybe by adding a hypermarket to the mall, but…


  6. Well, in this particular case, the mall is located in the center of downtown Providence, so you could walk to anything you needed that wasn’t located within the mall itself.


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