As the completion date of the Paint Factory renovation gets closer, Cromwell Architects Engineers would like to extend our dearest and heartfelt thanks to all of our partners in this project. We absolutely could not have done this without the generosity, guidance, and support of our partners.
Mid-Ark Roofing- Don Lowry
Siplast- Justin Hughes and David Bell
Environmental Protection Associates- Terry Blaylock and Gary Nooner
Mid-America Marketing- Dave Reinhart
PSA, Inc- James Ply
CA Riner- Charlie Carrone
Black Jack Mountain Marketing- Steve Calhoun
Jim Taylor Sales- Rusty Taylor
Airetech- John Oliver and Chance Hollinsworth
Jaco Sales- John Jaco
Gildner Maddox- Josh Maddox
ImageWorks- Rhonda Bradley and Desi Beers
Curtis Stout- Bruce Saad, Mark Chard, Andy McMahn
EVO- Chris Cerrato
Ace Glass- Courtney and Chris Little
3-Form- Kandid Scott and Carolyn Gawlik
Interface Carpet- Christi Hitch
Acme Brick and Tile- Linda Anderson
BPI- Kelly Adams
Victaulic- Neil Carlock
Malvern National Bank
Specialties Plus Inc- Terry Davis
Pacific Shores Store- Randy Watson
Neolith- Randy Watson
The Garland Company- Tyler Newton
The Omni Group- JB Kauffman
Mondo Flooring- Bryan Sanders
Formed Solutions- Walt Todd and John Magee
Formica- Kate Dunnavant
Tarkett Commercial- Justin Dennis
National Wallcovering- Shawn Thompson
Plunkett Distributing- Amber Self
Armstrong Ceilings- Michelle Ashberry
Eagle Rock Coatings, Themec- Myron McWherler
LPS- Joe Cossich
Sherwin Williams- Fred Wright
RP Power- John Ronza
Cromwell is confident that this renovation will continue to inspire more progress in East Village. The Paint Factory renovation is the flagship project of a revitalization of East Village, a Little Rock neighborhood that has been long neglected. Inspiring change and fostering community growth is in Cromwell's DNA as a company. It is the driving force behind what we do and the legacy of Mr. Cromwell.
Cromwell Architects Engineers purchased the Sterling Paint warehouse building in the fall of 2015 and is working with developer Moses Tucker to turn the 50,000 SF former factory and office space into a mixed use development while retaining the historic elements of the building. The building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it will remain on the register after the completion of the renovation. It will be the new home to Cromwell's headquarters as well as retail space, loft apartments, and a restaurant. The Paint Factory renovation is the flagship project of a large revitalization of East Village, downtown Little Rock neighborhood that has been long neglected. Cromwell will honor the history of this great Arkansas success story through a museum located in the vault of the lobby of the offices and through a series of educational plaques placed around the outside of the building. Built in 1947, the building is an intact example of a post-war commercial and industrial building and is the only industrial building designed by Burks and Anderson, prominent Arkansas architects.
HISTORY: In 1914, A.H. Stebbins and Gardener Goldsmith started a modest sign painting business in the basement of a small commercial building on West 6th Street in downtown Little Rock. In 1916 they expanded to manufacturing a small line of paints, operating as Stebbins & Goldsmith, renting the retail space above the basement workshop. In 1919, Lindsey Roberts, the son of a well-known Pulaski County plantation owner, bought Goldsmith's interests, changing the name of the company to Stebbins & Roberts. The company expanded their retail operation and began producing a larger line of paints, "S&G Brand", which was quickly acquired by the Benjamin Moore Company. After a successful sales profile with the new line of paints, they placed sales agents in many towns around Arkansas selling Benjamin Moore paints, linseed oil, and wallpapers.
After World War II, Stebbins & Roberts experienced massive growth, with 1946 being the most lucrative year in the company's history. To accommodate this growth, Stebbins & Roberts built a new office and factory building in the East End. The company continued to expand in the early 1950s and 1960’s and received several high-profile supply contracts, such as the formulation of a clear varnish that was applied to the gold leaf dome of the Arkansas State Capitol. The warehouse became overcrowded in the late 1960s, resulting in the decision to expand the original building, adding on a large wing to the east. The addition was completed in 1971. The company name changed to Sterling Paint in 1995, when Jim Adamson, son of longtime employee and former president Sterling Adamson, took over as president. The company was acquired in 2003 by Iowa Paint.
Local artist Jose Hernandez painted al mural on the east wall of the former Water Color building that sits east of the Paint Factory on 6th Street in the East Village. Chief Operating Officer Dan Fowler came across some of Hernandez’s work and thought that his style embodied the grit and spirit of the neighborhood.
The original piece was inspired by the industrial feel and the history of the neighborhood. Many elements that can be found around East Village such as the railroad, steel, and buildings on 6th Street have been incorporated into the mural.
Please join us for a dedication ceremony honoring Hernandez and his work on Friday, December 1st at 10 am at 1400 E. 6th Street.
The Paint Factory in East Village exists as one of the best examples of post-war industrial architecture in Little Rock, but it is also unique when it comes to being environmentally friendly. The Paint Factory and the site that surrounds it have been designed to have a low impact on the environment. A number of features have been utilized to reduce the negative effects that these buildings can have on our planet.
The streetscape has been fit with bio-retention areas that will improve stormwater quality and lessen the amount of water on the street. The building also includes low flow drip irrigation and extensive use of native plants that will lower the water consumption of the building.
The Paint Factory also has two features that are the first of their kind in Arkansas; Active Solar Skylights and an Eco-Activ roof that reduces pollution. The skylights bring natural light into the core spaces of the building, reducing the need for artificial light. Power generated by the skylights will lower the building’s energy consumption.
The roof, made by Siplast and applied by Mid-South roofing, is covered in a special Noxite granule that works to decrease pollutants in the air by absorbing them and turning them into harmless nitrate salt. Testing has shown that 20,000 square feet of the Eco-Activ roof can neutralize the pollution caused by 10 vehicles driven 11,000 miles.
Cromwell is excited to join our East Village neighbors Heifer International, Clinton Library, and Entegrity in operating our building in a manner that reduces our environmental impact. As stewards of our community, Cromwell is committed to the responsible use of natural resources in our design and community development practice.
Cromwell provided consultation on acheiving LEED Silver designation and also provided Commissioning Services for all design phases for the new UALR Visual Arts building.
Cromwell’s Energy Services team is doing the commissioning on this project at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The residential halls will be built using wood panels for the structure as an alternative to steel. Using this material is meant to spur both the lumber industry in Arkansas as well as emphasize the long-term importance of sustainability in design and construction.
Cronmwell provided campus wide commissioning services including Energy Auditing, Analysis, and Benchmarking to identify issues with current systems and to ensure that the base is as energy efficient as possible.
Local artist Jose Hernandez has been commissioned to paint an original mural in the East Village on the east wall of the former Carriage House building on 6th Street. Chief Operating Officer of Cromwell Architects, Engineers, Inc., Dan Fowler came across some of Hernandez’s work and thought that the artist’s style embodied the grit and spirit of the neighborhood.
Hernandez has been making art as long as he can remember. He started doing murals after moving to Savannah, GA, where he formed an art collective with some other local artists. They held pop-up art events in many cities all over the US and Mexico. The gatherings featured live music, dancing, the work of local artists, and live painting demonstrations. These events provided an opportunity for a diverse group of artists to network and collaborate with each other across borders.
Hernandez’s local projects include work for the Arkansas Times, the Argenta District, Dunbar Gardens, the North Little Rock Boys and Girls Club, Stephens Elementary School, 7th Street, and Sushi Café to name a few. His work has also been featured at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and Gallery 360. He also custom paints skateboards, hats, and clothing. He spends his free time conducting workshops and mentoring young, aspiring artists.
As a muralist, Hernandez’s favored tool is spraypaint because he is able to cover a larger space in a shorter amount of time. Speed is not the only challenge that a muralist faces. Painting on canvas usually takes place in a controlled environment, whereas a mural is in the open and exposed to the elements like wind and rain, foot traffic and many other factors that can be out of the artist’s control. Painting a mural is also a very physically demanding task that requires using the entire body. Hernandez often paints in 10-12 hour sessions throughout the night to finish a piece.
Hernandez does not make art just for the sake of art. His pieces are driven by social commentary and messages that he would like to convey to the community. The concept behind the piece in the East Village is meant to pay homage to the local industry that the neighborhood was founded on as well as the people behind it. Once Hernandez completes a piece, he no longer retains ownership of it; the piece is for the community to share.
Whether observers love or hate the finished piece is irrelevant to Hernandez. No matter what the reaction is, murals are meant to foster ongoing communication and engagement to the very diverse group of people who experience it. Murals also serve as a way of claiming a unique space in this world. We are constantly bombarded with images of every form that are pasted on every clean surface possible. Why not fill some of those spaces with beautiful and creative images that will spark conversations, create social awareness, and even inspire positive progress? These ideals are what the essence of the East Village is all about.