Nickels Arcade

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Nickels Arcade
Nickels Arcade at night.jpg
Location326-330 S. State St., Ann Arbor, Michigan
Coordinates42°16′42″N 83°44′29″W / 42.27833°N 83.74139°W / 42.27833; -83.74139 (Nickels Arcade)Coordinates: 42°16′42″N 83°44′29″W / 42.27833°N 83.74139°W / 42.27833; -83.74139 (Nickels Arcade)
Arealess than one acre
Built1915 (1915)
Built byA.R. Cole & Co.
ArchitectHerman Pipp
NRHP reference #87001180[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 9, 1987

Nickels Arcade is a commercial building located at 326-330 South State Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.[1] The building is notable as perhaps the only remaining example in Michigan of a free-standing commercial arcade building that was popularized by the Cleveland Arcade.[2]


John H. Nickels owned and operated a meat market at this location on State Street. His grandson Tom E. Nickels inherited a portion of the property, and bought other portions of the property from his brothers and sister. Nickels hired local architect Hermann Pipp to design this building. Construction by A.R. Cole & Co. began in 1915.[2] The first tenant, the Farmers and Mechanics bank, moved in that year. The entire building, however, was not completed until 1918, due in part to delays caused by the onset of World War I. Nickels owned the Arcade until his death in 1932, when he passed it on to his children, James and Nora.[3]


Nickels Arcade is a 261-foot-long gallery linking State Street on one side to Maynard Street on the other. The principal facade faces onto State Street, and consists of a three-story, three-bay open portico flanked with store/office blocks. The facade is clad with a buff-colored decorative architectural terra cotta. The Maynard Street facade is similar to the State Street facade in design, but is clad primarily with yellow brick, with additional ornamental detailing of terra cotta. The gallery running between the facades is covered with a gable skylight of metal-framed wire-glass panels.[2]

On each side of the gallery are ground-level shops which face onto the roofed passage. These shops are essentially two stories in height, some with a mezzanine level. Upper-story office windows above the commercial spaces also face onto the gallery. The arcade is floored with blocks of square red tile in black borders. The arcade is divided into three sections: the section nearest State Street continues the terra cotta cladding and detailing of the State Street facade. This section is separated from the next by a segmental archway; a similar archway near the other end separates the center section from an entrance vestibule.[2]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Julie Wortman (1982), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form: Nickels Arcade
  3. ^ Mary Ansley (July 28, 1974). "Nickels Arcade: A Charm Unmatched By Modern Mall". Ann Arbor News.

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