Historic spaces are being reborn all throughout Providence but nowhere more dramatically than downtown. As recently as a decade ago, the area was eerily desolate, a seeming stage set of edifices left over from the city’s early-20th-century heyday as a center of the jewelry, textile, and silverware industries. Now the streets hum with pedestrian traffic. This past fall, the Arcade—America’s oldest indoor mall, built in 1828—reopened as a retail hub and loft complex. Nearby is the Dorrance, a restaurant in the lobby of a 1901 former bank building, where the stained-glass windows and gilded 30-foot ceilings make for a splendid setting in which to enjoy Plymouth Rock oysters and other New England specialties.