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Tower Building

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1958–1960, F. Eugene Withrow and Harold A. Berry. 323 Center St.

When the seventeen-story Tower Building was completed, it was the first skyscraper built in the state since World War II and Arkansas’s tallest building. It stood as a symbol of Little Rock’s emergence as a major metropolitan area. Construction of the building was a joint effort between R. A. Lile, M. E. Moore of the Arkansas Realty Company, and Dallas developer Trammell Crow under the guiding force of Winthrop Rockefeller, with Withrow of Little Rock and Berry of Dallas as architects. When it was finished, the building was considered one of the most energy efficient buildings in the nation. Aluminum sunscreens (removed in 1983) at the top of each window helped achieve energy efficiency. The end walls of the building are brick while the panels in between each floor’s windows are porcelain. The projecting wing on the building’s south side houses the elevators, stairs, and other mechanical rooms. In 1983 during renovation of the building, the building’s elevators were replaced with the first talking elevators in a building in the South. When the building opened, it housed a variety of offices, and its top floor was home to the Top of the Rock Club, considered Little Rock’s finest dining establishment. Today the building houses a variety of offices.

In 1986, the Tower Building was significantly outstripped by the nearby forty-story Capitol Tower (Wilkins Sims Architects and Harwood K. Smith and Partners) at 425 W. Capitol Avenue. This steel-framed glasswalled structure, the tallest building in Arkansas, has a reinforced concrete central core containing the elevator shafts, fire stairs, and mechanical equipment.

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, "Tower Building", [Little Rock, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-PU19.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 129-129.

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