2012 List

Medical Arts Building

Endangered List: Back To Main Page
City/County/Congressional District: Hot Springs , Garland County ( District 4 )
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: 1929 | Year Abandoned: 1980s
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places 1978
Status: AbandonedEndangered

The Medical Arts Building was built in 1929 in the Art Deco style by G. C. Gordon Walker. Designed by John Parks Almand (who also designed Little Rock’s Central High School), the Medical Arts Building was the tallest building in Arkansas until 1960 when the Tower Building was constructed in Little Rock. Originally built to house medical offices, the Medical Arts Building is outstanding example of Art Deco style. Since the 1980s, city policy has exempted vacant upper stories of multi story buildings from meeting code requirements and all utilities must be disconnected from vacant floors of the building. This code exemption contributes to underutilization and decay of structures like the Medical Arts Building, which has been vacant above the first floor since 1986. Parts of the building have been vandalized by so called “urban explorers”. The Medical Arts Building is quite large and has multiple owners, complicating factors to the redevelopment of this landmark. The Medical Arts Building is a prominent presence on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. Redevelopment would be key to the revitalization of downtown Hot Springs.