Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Robinson Auditorium renovation begins; can a MAPCO be far behind?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 10:31 AM

robinsonsecondact600px.jpg

Both the mayor and governor were on hand today for a ceremonial closing of Robinson Auditorium, which is to undergo a 26-month, $70 million redo with a bond issue backed by the hamburger tax.

Beebe reportedly talked about the remarkable downtown revitalization.

I wonder if he or the mayor remarked on the fact that — unless the Little Rock City Board comes to its senses tonight— you'll be able to stand on the front steps of this WPA art deco monument and gaze down to a sign welcoming you to the gas pumps, 22-ounce Busch Lights and Slim Jims of a shiny MAPCO 24-hour vagrant magnet.

Remarkable.

Remarkable, too, that Strong Mayor Mark Stodola's sterling appointments to the Planning Commission were the failed first line of defense against this bad idea, which was solidly opposed by the city professional planning staff.

Vote counters tell me the issue is still close, with reportedly at least three solid votes for developer Dickson Flake from Erma Hendrix, Doris Wright and Lance Hines. Why? My guess would be home neighborhood animus toward money spent downtown. How better to pay that back than by dropping a metaphorical you-know-what in the punchbowl. Six votes are needed for passage.

Plenty of details on the work here. The auditorium will be closed while the neighboring Broadway bridge is also closed for replacement. I still like to dream of the defunct grand idea to turn that bridge into a High Line-style plaza connected to the revivified convention center, with a new bridge crossing upstream. Instead, we'll get a half-baked bridge replacement and, perhaps,  convenience store nightmares.

click to enlarge ext-01_aerial1.jpg

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of Robinson Auditorium, MAPCO

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Farewell to a school teacher, Susan Turner Purvis

    A tribute to a great school teacher, Susan Turner Purvis, who died yesterday. Far too soon.
    • Jul 17, 2015
  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016
  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation