May 30 Architeaser: National Old Line Building

In 1955 the National Old Line Insurance Building was opened.  This seven story structure has been described as “perhaps the finest example of the International Style of architecture in Arkansas.”  Over the years, the building has switched ownership and changed names several times.

Over the years the building has generated controversy. Because of its height (7 stories) and architectural style, it has often been derided as detracting from the look of the adjacent Arkansas State Capitol Building.  There have been several suggestions that the building be torn down and replaced by a parking lot or a lower and more architecturally-sympathetic building.  Conversely, there have also been attempts to expand the building.  Neither school of thought has succeeded.

Today the building is known as the 501 Building (an homage to its address on Woodlane as well perhaps as a nod to the area code of Central Arkansas).  It houses many state offices.IMG_5660