Blog

National Old Line Building, 1955

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Wednesday, March 06, 2019

 

  • The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will consider 16 Arkansas properties in 12 counties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places when it meets at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, at the Arkansas State University offices at 501 Woodlane Drive in Little Rock.

    One nominee is the National Old Line Building which is located at what is now the home of Arkansas State University’s offices. It is regarded as the largest and best example of International Style architecture in the state of Arkansas, and was built in 1955, with an addition in 1965.

    To understand International Style, you must look to the 1920s. “The name was derived from the idea that an International Style building could be built anywhere in the world and still be functional and comfortable for its inhabitants,” explains Mason Toms, with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. “The name entered the popular consciousness when Phillip Johnson and Henry Russell Hitchcock created an exhibition in 1932 at the Museum of Modern Art, which featured photos and drawings of “modern” buildings from 15 countries, including the United States that exemplified the movement. The exhibition was an effort to raise awareness and increase popularity of the new, “modern” forms of architecture.”

    Toms continues saying that the structure in Arkansas is a perfect example of the International Style, “characterized by box-like structures with little or no ornament, flat roofs, ribbon windows, and cantilevered sunshades or awnings. There was also a general smoothness to the exteriors and an overall horizontal feel to the buildings, a distinct contrast to the earlier, vertical Art Deco buildings. Johnson said that the horizontality achieved by the aqua ribbon windows helped the building to feel shorter and not be as obtrusive to the surrounding area.”

    The National Old Line Building has hosted offices for private businesses as well as state agencies and has even hosted a private residence in its penthouse before it was renovated into the Arkansas State offices. “The apartment included three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a large living room with wet bar,” says Toms of the original apartment. “It appears that the penthouse apartment was included in the design as a place to lodge and entertain prominent clients, instead of being a residence. The first people to stay in the penthouse apartment for a prolonged period was Winthrop Rockefeller and his family when he was first elected governor of Arkansas. They lived here for about a year between 1967-1968, while renovations and updates were being done to the Governor's Mansion.”

    Toms says that the building is clad in Alabama limestone, chosen to compliment the Arkansas and Indiana limestone used on the Capitol Building. A quote from Johnson on the design states, “Buildings are built with the materials and technologies available at the time and by architects who have accumulated their ideas and design philosophies from all that they have been taught, observed, or concluded up to the time the buildings are designed. With our training and experience, we hope that the result will be pleasing to the observer and the occupants.”

 



Recent Posts


Tags

Renaissance Revival Architecture Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Main Street Arkansas:Real Estate Transfer Tax Historic Preservation Restoration Grants Central High School Neighborhood Historic District Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas Little Rock Fire Station No. 2 Arkansas History Arkansas African American Civil War History Old U.S. Post Office and Customs House Freedmen's Bureau Delta Cultural Center Madison County Arkansas Mississippi County Arkansas Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission slipcover removal grants downtown economic development National Register of Historic Places Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Polk County Arkansas Monroe County Arkansas Louisiana Main Street program steel window restoration workshop National Register of Historic Dionicio Rodriguez Booneville Arkansas Arkansas History Lesson Plans Cumberland Presbyterian Church Turner Restoration Forrest City Cemetery Montgomery County Arkansas Stearns/Gehring Chapel Cemetery North Little Rock Arkansas Edgar Monsanto Queeny Folk Victorian Architecture Nevada County Arkansas Real Estate Transfer Tax Let Freedom Ring Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Museum Abolition of Slavery Free Courthouse Poster Rosenwald Schools U.S. Army Corps of Engineers County courthouse Restoration Grants historic telephone booth Parker-Hickman Farm Historic District 19th Century Road Construction Huntsville Arkansas Barney Elias House Arkansas Humanities Council Sandwiching in History Freedom Park Mid-Century Modern Architecture Arkansas Design Network Camden Arkansas Flood Control Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Erbie Arkansas Bogg Springs Hotel 13th Amendment Classroom Presentation Conway County Library Main Street Dumas Evelyn Gill Walker House Dr. Ruth Hawkins Houston Arkansas cemetery preservation Prairie County Arkansas Arkansas Railroad History Pike County Courthouse most endangered historic places Camden to Washington Road "Let Freedom Ring" Travel Grants White County Courthouse News Release Leake-Ingham Building African American education Free Cemetery Preservation Workshops Craftsman style architecture Phillips County Arkansas Perry County Arkansas Tolbert Gill Forrest City Arkansas Little Rock Central High School Roe Arkansas Skillern House Arkansas Historic Preservation Historic County Courthouses Clarendon Arkansas free history tours Pope County Arkansas Russellville Arkansas Free Lesson Plan Huntsville Commercial Historic District Benton Arkansas free teacher resources Main Street Searcy American Legion Miller County 13th Amendment Burdette Plantation Rosston Arkansas Tudor Revival Architecture Civil Works Administration Camden Public Library historic resort communities Monsanto Chemical Corporation Elias Camp Morris National Historic Landmark Sunken Lands Poinsett County Arkansas Monroe County Courthouse St. Francis County Historical Society Ouachita County Arkansas Walks Through History Duck Hunting free historic preservation workshop U.S. Forest Service Arkansas Business History Newton County Arkansas Pulaski County Courthouse Houston Methodist Episcopal Church South Centennial Baptist Church downtown revitalization Destination Downtown Conference Carlisle Rock Island Railroad Depot Paris Arkansas Gothic Revival architecture New Century Club of Camden Arkansas religious history Buffalo National River Main Street Texarkana Ozark Farming Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council historic architecture Art Deco Architecture Marked Tree Arkansas Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut Mississippi Main Street Association Three States Lumber Company Main Street Batesville Saline County Arkansas Bogg Springs Arkansas International-Style Architecture Cemetery Preservation Library Arkansas Register of Historic Places Morrilton Arkansas Main Street Siloam Springs Henry Koen Office Building Montgomery County Courthouse Helena Arkansas Booneville Historical Preservation Society Mississippi County Courthouse Osceola Historic Preservation Alliance Arkansas Preservation Awards Kiblah School Civilian Conservation Corps historic Arkansas properties Rustic Architecture cemetery preservsation Marked Tree Lock and Siphons Naturalistic Architecture Downtown Revitalization Grants Burdette Arkansas Pope County Courthouse Main Street Arkansas Main Street Ozark Pike County Arkansas Doddridge Arkansas Wingmead Trail of Tears in Arkansas

Archive