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Arkansas Power and Light Building

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1953–1959, Fred Arnold for Wittenberg Delony and Davidson; 2009 renovated, Jerry G. Holland. W. 9th St. at Louisiana St.

The Arkansas Power and Light Company (AP&L) pioneered rural electrification in Arkansas and chose a Little Rock firm to design its new headquarters building. Several problems, ranging from uncertainty over rate increases to the expiration of laborers’ union contracts, delayed completion for almost six years. The AP&L Building features an asymmetrical plan that forms a rough T shape. The head of the T is formed by an irregularly shaped single-story block of brick, with a concave curved entrance wall and glass entrance. The stem of the T is a long two-story rectangular unit, which begins atop the head of the T and continues as a separate unit raised on pilotis, providing a covered outdoor space. The influence of Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier’s work is evident in this portion of the building, with its pilotis, glass curtain walls on its long sides, and brick end walls. The building’s combination of brick, glass, and light gray Georgia marble give it a smooth, sleek exterior appearance. The building is crowned by AP&L’s trademark glass ball (now with the Entergy logo) that sits atop a tall, sloping pedestal. In addition to being Little Rock’s first large International Style building and one of its most intact examples of 1950s architecture, it was also the city’s first office building to be outfitted with an electric heat pump system.

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, "Arkansas Power and Light Building", [Little Rock, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-PU30.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 133-133.

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