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Robinson Center renovation teams narrowed to four

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published November 19, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.

the-robinson-center-auditorium-in-downtown-little-rock

The Robinson Center Auditorium in downtown Little Rock.

— Four finalists have been named to be the architectural and design team for the renovation and expansion of the Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock.

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau said Monday that it narrowed the field to the following teams after issuing a request for applicants in October:

  • Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson of Little Rock, partnered with Studio RED of Houston.
  • Martinez + Johnson of Washington, D.C., partnered with Roark Perkins Perry Yelvington of Little Rock.
  • Ennead Architects of New York, partnered with Polk Stanley Wilcox of Little Rock.
  • Witsell Evans Rasco of Little Rock, partnered with LMN of Seattle.

Each team will make a presentation before the city's Advertising and Promotion Commission on Nov. 29 before a finalist is announced.

The Robinson Center, which opened in 1939, is being expanded and updated to "improve function, acoustics and aesthetics" and to add more meeting, conference and service capabilities, the visitors bureau said in a statement.

"Robinson Center has long been an icon in Little Rock and has served the community, and our region, very well over the past 70+ years," Gretchen Hall, president and chief executive officer of the visitors bureau, said in a statement. "However, it is in desperate need of upgrades and renovations in order to become the performing arts center that our city deserves.”

The project is expected to begin in summer 2014 and continue through fall 2016 in conjunction with the anticipated construction or replacement of the Broadway Bridge. Hall says the effort will likely be paid for through a bond initiative using current Advertising and Promotion tax revenue.

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