|City/Town: • Little Rock|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|Year Built: • 1916 | Year Abandoned: • 1990|
|Status: • Restored (2017)|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz|
Architect Charles L. Thompson, the last surviving Architect that founded Cromwell Architects and Engineers, designed the Arkansas Democrat building in 1916 as a Neoclassical Revival Style. This gave the elegant and dramatic look to the front facade of the building for the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper that resided inside. The Arkansas Democrat was an active competitor to the local Arkansas Gazette during the majority of its life. From 1917 to 1930, the hustle and bustle of editors, reporters, print-setters, and photographers winding actively throughout the loud printing presses of the Arkansas Democrat, was a daily happening.
President and General Manager of the Arkansas Democrat, K. August Engel, who held that position for almost half a century had acquired the YMCA building and established the Arkansas Democrat newspaper in the new building. After the Democrat newspaper vacated the building, it housed the Burton Furniture Store for a number of years and Lido Cafeteria after. After those establishments moved out only the ground floor became occupied again, the top floor being vacant for over 25 years.
RAO Video along with a subway franchise were leased in the bottom floors of the building in the last remaining years of occupancy.
In 2015-2016 the Newark Moses Tucker Partners took on the upper floor of the Arkansas-Democrat building to create eight unique lofts while Cromwell Architects and Engineers redid the bottom floors. Debuting in early 2017 the beautifully constructed Arkansas Democrat Lofts include many charming features including the old plaster walls and a wonderful view of Main Street Little Rock.
Heading downstairs to the ground floor you’ll find Three Fold Noodles and Dumplings an increasingly popular restaurant in the Downtown Little Rock area. Three Fold prides themselves on making all of their dishes from scratch; dumplings, noodles, chips, and steamed buns. Handwashing and freshly chopped herbs are added to serve an overall extremely fresh dining experience.
Thank you to Cromwell Architects and Engineers for granting us access before the renovation!