The city of North Little Rock will be allowing the public to tour its city hall in an open house on Sunday. It marks the 100th anniversary since the placement of the building’s cornerstone on July 27th, 1914. North Little Rock City Clerk and Collector Diane Whitbey says people will be able to go through rooms and mingle with Mayor Joe Smith and other council members.
“Here in the city clerk’s office they’ll have the opportunity to look in the vault where we keep all of our city’s history, our records. They’ll be able to tour the mayor’s office. Our history commission has put together a wonderful presentation of photographs and they’ve narrated those and so people will have the opportunity to sit down...in a cool space and hear a little bit of our history,” Whitby says.
Sandra Taylor-Smith, director of the North Little Rock History Commission, says the building, an example of neo-classical design, retains many of its original qualities.
“Double hung windows had been removed in the 1970’s and...duplicate windows that look like the original windows have been reinstalled. The interior is made of Florentine marble. Original light fixtures remain in a lot of locations throughout the building,” she says.
Taylor-Smith also notes that the building was constructed for the city of Argenta, which was incorporated in 1904 and later became part of North Little Rock. The Argenta region had previously been established as the 8th Ward of Little Rock beginning in 1890.
The city’s first mayor, William C. Faucette, initiated the building project, which Taylor-Smith understands to be modeled after a bank in St. Louis, where the former mayor and several others had researched possible buildings and architects at the time.
The open house will take place from 3 to 5 pm. The city hall is located at 300 Main St. in North Little Rock.