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Historic Lane Hotel

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1929, 1939, John Parks Almand. 121 W. Poplar St.

Shortly after this five-story buff-colored brick hotel was completed in 1929, tourist brochures labeled it the “Palace of the Ozarks.” When built, it was one of the tallest and largest commercial buildings in north Arkansas and had seventy-two guestrooms. The five-story hotel was constructed for S. A. Lane of Little Rock, and Almand, also of Little Rock, gave him a building in a stylish blend of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival. The hotel rests on and is slightly set back from a block of retail shops. The central portion of the building, inset between two wings, is emphasized by a wide flight of stairs that leads up to an arcade of eight slender, glazed terracotta columns. This entrance arcade is further emphasized by a narrow rectangular elevator tower rising several feet above the hotel’s red tile roof. The main floor of the two wings opens onto a terrace, which is the roof of the retail shops below. Inside the hotel, the lobby and adjacent public spaces are spanned by exposed redwood beams ornamented with colorful stenciling. Wrought-iron light fixtures and wall sconces are additional Spanish-inspired accents. Within a decade of opening, Almand met the need for additional dining space by a new wing at the rear of the building in a harmonious Spanish design. The Lane Hotel was the dining and social venue of the community. Among the celebrities who stayed here were aviator Amelia Earhart, boxer Jack Dempsey, and movie star Errol Flynn.

In 1935, the hotel was renamed the Harris Hotel for its new owner, Earl Harris (see BN20), and later was known as the Hotel Arkansas until it closed in 1965. The building became a retirement home in 1967 and an assisted living facility in 1999 but closed in 2003. The Walton family purchased the building in 2015.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
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Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Historic Lane Hotel", [Rogers, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-BN21.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 35-36.

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