Medical Arts Building

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City/Town: Hot Springs
Location Class: CommercialHospital
Year Built: 1930
Year Abandoned: 1991
Status: AbandonedEndangeredNational Register of Historic Places
Photojournalist: Michael Schwarz

In 1930, in downtown Hot Springs, two blocks from the Majestic Hotel, the Medical Arts Building became the tallest building west of Mississippi from the day it finished construction until 1960. This building, credited as being one of the most important Art Deco structures in Arkansas history, is now considered one of the most endangered buildings in the state by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. A certified building in the National Register of Historic Places, the United States branch of government dealing with historical buildings, the Medical Arts Building has been abandoned since 1991 after four years of having no power or electricity to the middle thirteen floors.

medical-arts-hisThe Medical Arts Building was constructed by general contractor G. C. Gordon Walker with work beginning on December 1, 1929. Designed by Almand & Stuck, which also designed Little Rock Central High School, the building has a certain indescribable beauty and elegance that has caused a recent public uproar to restore or otherwise renovate it. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, “Bas-relief limestone carvings on the frieze and on the facing of the main entrance are among the building’s notable features, along with the bronze grille work above the doors.” This unique look, which provided the exterior for the Daily Planet building in the original Superman television series, earned the building its reputation as, from Sentinel-Record, “One of the most imposing buildings in Arkansas and a valuable addition to… Hot Springs.”

The current condition of the structure mirrors that of the Majestic before its ultimate destruction. As a community, there has been much protest and concern raised that the building’s fate will be the same as its abandoned cousin. The building’s latest owner, Marshall Coffman of Coffman Investment Inc. of Little Rock, reassured the Sentinel-Record in 2012 that the building “absolutely” will not be torn down. The Medical Arts Building stands out as one of the most important buildings in Arkansas history and we here at Abandoned Arkansas are happy to see the amount of attention and support put into the notion of restoring it. Other major, historic buildings that are vacant in downtown Hot Springs include the former Majestic Hotel and former DeSoto Hotel.

We bumped into Scott McClard, a local entrepreneur to Hot Springs and amature film maker, while exploring the Medical Arts Building; he made a video that keeps in the spirit of Abandoned Arkansas and really helps to create a live, detailed recreation of the Medical Arts Building inside and out. Please show your support for the restoration of Historic Downtown Hot Springs by taking a look at the video and pictures below; hopefully, with enough attention, we’ll be able to capture how important these buildings are to the people of Arkansas.

Article written by Wells Thompson – AAR staff

Scott McClard’s video on the Medical Arts Interior.

Liked it? Help AAR take action to save some of these places on Patreon! Donations will help fund clean ups, securing of buildings and hopeful restorations as we work with the owners who want to bring them back to life.
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Chuck H
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Chuck H

If the city can get it and get federal money to convert it to housing, then it stands a chance of being used again. Otherwise there is no hope for it. Just a recent archeological wonder.

Boulder Marketing
Guest

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

Cindy Kelly
Guest
Cindy Kelly

I was told way back when Batman first came out that that building was used as the Gotham police quarters does anyone have any clue where I can get background on that

Josh Barrett
Guest
Josh Barrett
Josh Barrett
Guest
Josh Barrett

This building should be fixed. Who wants to work with me? My Experience:
https://goo.gl/EhULxH
https://goo.gl/F1vz6U

Take a look at the numbers. It only takes a willingness to learn. Tax Credits make it all possible. e-mail josh@vestatulsa.com if you care about this building.

Jessie
Guest
Jessie

Who did you contact to get in to do this? I would love to go in and get some shots for a College Project.

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Guest

Well appreciated post admin thanks for sharing for this,

kamarajs
Guest

nice post.

Shareware
Guest

Well appreciated post admin thanks for sharing for this,

Post Malone
Guest

Totally DUG this post! I have a blog myself, if you are open, I might curate this post to my audience. Obviously give a link back.

Cheska
Guest

Way to go on this post man. Really killer stuff. I'll be back to read your other posts.

chasebillow1
Guest

Thanks for taking the time to do this and share!Great post.Thanks for increasing our knowledge about this topic.

Zofran

paradiso
Guest

I hope that since the Thompson and 1st Federal Buildings are being refurbished, maybe there's hope for this one (and many others) too. Neat video and haunting music.

Cleaning pool
Guest

Great post.Thanks for increasing our knowledge about this topic https://goo.gl/ZJ0b4N

alhaanasif
Guest
alhaanasif

WOW. This is amazing (and sad). Thanks for sharing.It would be so wonderful to see that building restored <a href= " http://www.garsencoolpaints.com/apartments-interi
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GL Jenkins
Guest
GL Jenkins

Great old building. I hope that since the Thompson and 1st Federal Buildings are being refurbished, maybe there's hope for this one (and many others) too. Neat video and haunting music. I wonder if the songs were created specifically for this video?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Does anyone know how to get in there? I would like to check out the whole thing and want to see the rooftop. If anyone knows a way in I would love instruction.

cameron K
Guest
cameron K

I have been in the Medical Arts Building twice in the last two years. It is a beautiful building and it worthy of restoration and redevelopment. I do hope that an angel investor steps in to save it. However, if you assess it objectively it has many obstacles to overcome: 1. Condition – The interior has been left open to the elements from several open or broken windows. Due to age, the building assuredly has lead paint and asbestos which will require remediation. The building was not equipped for modern HVAC. 2. Floorplan – The square foot of each floor… Read more »

Josh Barrett
Guest
Josh Barrett

This is the type person that you never want on your team and the type of person that destroys potential. In any project, there are 1000 reasons why it will not work, but only a few that will make it work. I bought the Tulsa Club Building in 2013 and sold it it 2015 for 1 Million profit. It sat empty for 20 years before that. If you don't understand how to promote a project and do real estate development, stay home and be quiet. Learn, Lead, Evaluate. If enough people want the building fixed, or the town fixed, or… Read more »

Dueff LeBouey
Guest
Dueff LeBouey

I don't quite understand this plan. If you are in fact "Josh". You bought and sold an old building in Tulsa that someone else is refurbishing and now your plan is to start a go fund me page to refurbish another building you don't own. Garland County tax roles don't seem to reflect your ownership anyway. I hope it works but I don't see an established track record here. Good luck Man.

sam
Guest
sam

I can not believe they've let the building get so bad.I cleaned it in the late 80's. you could have used any part of it. The doctors moved out because of customer parking and to be near the new hospitals.

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

How sad it is in such bad shape, some of the furniture could be sold.

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