The paper is dedicated to the study and visual reconstruction of the Old Arcade – the first commercial structure of its kind for the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which was irrevocably lost during WWII. Its peculiar architecture reflected specifics of the place and way of citizens’ life. Its seven decades-long popularity and success as a commercial complex intrigue to this day. The methods of study consist of an analysis of texts (journal articles and books), visual documents (photographs and maps) depicting the central part of the city in 1870–1940s, as well as an on-site examination of other Kharkiv’s buildings from the end of 19th century. They also include a comparison with studies on the development of towns of adjacent regions, as conducted by other researchers. This allows authors of the paper to propose the first hypothetical spatial model of the Old Arcade, describing its supposed construction and stylistic solutions, as well as highlighting the stages of its transformation and the causes for its destruction during the war. The lessons of its spatial and visual integration with urban environment can be of use to designers and researchers of modern shopping complexes.