May 28 Architeaser: AP&L Building


The Arkansas Arts Center just opened an exhibit on Bauhaus architecture. Though Little Rock doesn’t have any strictly Bauhaus style buildings, there are a few buildings designed in the International Style which was related to Bauhaus.

The Arkansas Power & Light Building on Louisiana and 9th Streets was announced in 1953 and completed in 1959. The design was by Fred Arnold of the Wittenberg Delony & Davidson firm. The reason for the delay was due to uncertainty regarding a rate case and labor contracts.

The four story building features a combination of glass, marble and brick. The second and third stories float over an open space as they extend eastward. In 2010, the marble panels on the second and third stories were replaced because of buckling. They were replaced with marble from the same quarry as the original marble.

The orb atop the building once bore the likeness of Reddy Kilowatt, a mascot used by AP&L as well as many other electric utilities in the post-World War II era. When AP&L changed its name to Entergy Arkansas (as part of the system-wide rebranding of various companies into Entergy), the orb was replaced with one which features a three-dimensional version of the Entergy logo.