From 1906 until 1920, a temporary structure stood next to City Hall. It was Little Rock’s first city auditorium.
It was a flexible use structure consisting of a large room with a stage on one end. It had a variety of uses including a roller skating rink. In the lead up to US involvement in the Great War, the Arkansas National Guard obtained permission to use it as a rifle range when it was not being used for other purposes.
Once the US entered the Great War, the facility was also used as a place for recreation for officers stationed at Camp Pike. It was the site of dances as well as basketball games and other sporting competitions.
In addition, various organizations used the facility for patriotic rallies and music concerts.
(Note, after 1912, the front of the facade which appears in the photo was removed. The new Central Fire Station was constructed between the auditorium and Markham Street. A new entrance to the auditorium was built off of Arch Street.)
May is Heritage Month in Arkansas. The 2017 theme is World War I. On Thursdays in May, the blog will look at various ways Little Rock took part in the Great War.