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Keep up with the latest news and happenings that surround El Dorado's Events and Festivals.  Whether you are looking for the latest news about an audition, or an update on construction at a local venue, you can find it here.

Griffin Auto Building Transformation

Last week, Austin Barrow, COO and President of El Dorado Festivals & Events sat down with the El Dorado Historical Committee to review plans for the former Griffin Auto Building. The building is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the overall planning for the new Arts & Entertainment Disrict in downtown El Dorado, AR. The proposal submitted to the group showed two possible options for the design of the building.

Griffin Auto Building "Option 1"

Option 1 was presented to the group as the best option for a true preservationist. The glass enclosure under the opening would be set back from the terracotta columns, which would be fully restored and lighting would be installed under the cover to highlight the architectural features.

Griffin Auto Building "Option 2"

Option 2 is similar to Option 1 in layout but includes large garage doors that would open when weather permits. The doors would allow for dining in the resturant to flow outdoors and provide a wonderful atmosphere during festivals. The doors are also thematically tied to the original purpose of the building.

The interior of the building will feature an indoor music venue with the potential to house 1,800 to 3,600 patrons and a restaurant and cabaret that will seat up to 300 patrons.  To the left of the building will be an outdoor amphitheatre with seating for 6,000 to 7,000 patrons.   There will be a large service kitchen as well.

It is undecided at this time what the bottom floor of the historic building will be, but one thing is clear; “It’s going to still feel like a warehouse. It’s a big open space. We’ll definitely keep that industrial feel,” Jennings said. “It’s going to be a really unique venue. It’s going to be one of those places where people will make excuses just to come see a show.”  Jennings,the director of Historic Preservation for Westlake Reed Leskosky, presented the plans to the Historic Distric Commission with Barrow.  

WRL will be back in El Dorado to finalize some building drawings in early December.  The construction and renovation of the Rialto, Griffin Auto, and McWilliams buildings will begin in early 2015 and has a projected completion in late 2016.