Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Arcade Providence, which, when it opened 188 years ago, was America's first shopping mall. Today, its a collection of 48 apartments, restaurants, a coffee shop and a salon.

"If you've got a dead mall, look at that as an opportunity," says Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor of urban design at Georgia Tech who is tracking more than 1000 mall carcasses across the U.S.

She shared a few favorites:

  • Cleaning up the environment: A shuttered mall in Ohio was turned into a water treatment plant to clean up the nearby lake.
  • A doctor's office: The top floor of a struggling, two-story mall in Nashville was turned into a clinic. Instead of flipping through old magazines while waiting for the doctor, patients can check in with the doctor upstairs and then head downstairs to shop.
  • A college campus: Abandoned strip malls in east Austin have been transformed into satellite campuses for Austin Community College.

Still, there are far more ghost-town malls than there are retrofitted ones, she says.

"I wish there were more really great examples of down and out communities finding a silver bullet in dead retail."
— Ellen Dunham-Jones, Georgia Tech

Special report: The future of retail

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Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along the bays including those near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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