One Rice tore down a Little Rock auditorium; his grandson helped restore another one

On 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.

J Rice 1920In 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, 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 Performance Hall.

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1 thought on “One Rice tore down a Little Rock auditorium; his grandson helped restore another one

  1. This makes me wonder if I am related to Mr. Rice. My grandfather, George H. Rice was a civil engineer who lived and worked in the Little Rock area, Cabot and Beebe in the 1920s-1950s. I never have been able to find a lot of information on him.

    Thanks for the great story. I love hearing learning about old architecture in the Little Rock and North Little Rock areas.

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