On April 12, 1904, Mayor W. E. Lenon made what was the first official proposal for a municipal auditorium in Little Rock. Little did he know at the time that it would take from April 1904 until February 1940 to make this dream a reality.
Elected as a progressive, Lenon was focused on not just providing city services, but also had an interest in initiatives which would move the city forward. With that background it is not surprising that Mayor Lenon would be a champion for the construction of both a new city hall as well as a municipal auditorium building. During his first annual address to the City Council in April 1904 he noted:
Recently a number of our citizens have taken an active interest in building an auditorium in our city. This being a project of such worthy consideration should not go unnoticed by us. Apparently this is one of the greatest needs. Our business, social, commercial and financial interests, in fact, our entire city, would be benefitted by the building of same. It has therefore occurred to me that an auditorium might be built in conjunction with a new city hall.
The mayor further discussed that these new structures could either be built on the site of the current City Hall or at a new location. He also touched on possible financing options including the collection of a one percent assessment.
The mayor would bring this up again in his 1905 annual address. It would not be until December 1905 that the City Council would officially take any action on the plan.