RobinsoNovember: James Rice and Jim Rice

J Rice 1920On June 7, 1920, the Little Rock City Council finally authorized the demolition of Little Rock’s 1906 temporary auditorium.  The structure had originally been built as a skating rink which, when chairs were added, could be used for public meetings.  Since the mid 1910’s, the City Council had discussed tearing it down over safety concerns.  But since Little Rock had no other structure as a substitute, the Council kept delaying the decision.
In 1920, though there was not alternative space available, the Council decided that the structure had to come down.  So City Engineer James H. Rice was authorized to have the building removed.

JimRice RobinsonToday, Rice’s grandson, also known as Jim Rice is the COO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.  In that capacity he oversaw the renovation of Little Rock’s 1940 municipal auditorium – Robinson Center Music Hall.

While his grandfather was efficient at demolishing a worn out building that was beyond repair, Jim deftly helped make sure that the existing city auditorium was refitted and restructured so that it would no longer be worn out.