Today’s architeaser features two friezes from the old Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Building behind (to the west) of the Arkansas State Capitol.
Originally built to house the Game and Fish Commission offices, the building has been subsumed by the One Capitol Mall complex (aka Big Mac). The Game and Fish Commission offices are now out in west Little Rock near I-430.
One frieze depicts a woman feeding a deer, a family of deer, and a bow hunter. The other frieze depicts a modern fisherman with rod and reel and an 19th century boy sitting along a river bank with a cane pole.
Since there was really no freezing weather this February, the architectural friezes have had to do. The final feature in this series is actually five small friezes on a one story building at 701 West Capitol.
This one story office building sits on a corner with the entrance actually being off the corner instead of a street front. Though the majority of the building is brick, the granite front entrance wraps around the corner.
(no idea what this is)
The friezes are spaced at the top of this granite. According to the Pulaski County Assessor’s office, this building (which is across the street from the Federal Courthouse) was built in 1960.
The friezes, designed in an art deco style, depict scenes of nature. It is apparent that one is of a bird (an eagle?), one is a duck flying, one is of fish, and one of an antlered animal (an antelope?).
The remaining frieze is a mystery to the LR Culture Vulture. All of the other designs are very detailed yet this one appears to be more stylistic.
Eagle (centered over entrance)
Duck flying (along Capitol Avenue)
Fish swimming (along Capitol Avenue)
Antelope playing (along Capitol Avenue)
This frieze is found above the entrance to the building at 801 West Third Street, which houses a law firm. The building was built in 1954 as an office. At the time, that portion of Third Street was a mix of commercial and residential structures.
Though it is only a one story building, the combination of the frieze above the door and the glass blocks framing the door makes the building look more imposing than a typical 1950s one-story office structure would.
As was the case with many 20th century friezes, this depicts people in “modern” dress but in classical style. These are less angular depictions than are found in Art Deco freizes; the lines are more natural and realistic. The women’s fashions are definitely mid-20th century in dress and hair. The men are depicted in a similar fashion, but in keeping with the classic tradition, the men are shirtless.
Today’s February Frieze Frame Friday is the entrance to the old Little Rock City Jail. This building, which sits behind City Hall, was the jail from the 1930s through the early 1960s. It now serves as a parking garage, Parks & Recreation maintenance area, and city employee fitness facility.
Though the entrance below the frieze has long been bricked in, the jail bars are still detectable above the frieze.
This building was constructed by the WPA. The classical meets deco style of the frieze is typical of the works from that era.
For decades a metal awning bisected the frieze making it undetectable to people who walked by it. But in 2007, as part of some renovations to the building (spearheaded by city employee Susan K. Langley), the awning was removed and the frieze became more prominent. (As prominent as can be when the frieze is right at Broadway street level and is blocked from Broadway traffic by balustrades.
Each Friday in February, the Little Rock Culture Vulture will feature a frieze which can be found in Little Rock.
Today’s frieze is inspired by friezes from ancient cultures showing a laborer at work. The shirtless and muscular nature of the man is evocative of friezes that can be seen today in Greek or Roman ruins. His hair, breeches and shoes are more in keeping with the late 1700s/early 1800s as is the style of the printing press.
It is found, fittingly, on an annex to the Arkansas Gazette building, which now houses the lower grades of the eStem Public Charter School.