Argenta City Hall and Fire Station was built in 1895 as Fire Station No. 6 of the City of Little Rock, which had annexed the north side of the Arkansas River in 1890 and made it the Eighth Ward.
No more than a stable in those days for the horses that firefighters hitched up to wagons, this two-story brick building was expanded and remodeled in 1904 after the Eighth Ward merged with North Little Rock, a smaller municipality north of 15th Street that had organized in 1901 with the intent of consolidating the north side as a separate city from Little Rock. North Little Rock acquired the fire station in a legal settlement following court approval of the merger. The building became City Hall, as well as a fire and police station, and was the site of the first City Council meeting of the newly consolidated North Little Rock government on April 11, 1904.
From 1906 to 1917 the city adopted the name of Argenta, an older moniker that the heirs of Thomas W. Newton Sr. bequeathed to the north side in an 1866 survey and plat of a town site that is now the core of downtown North Little Rock. Serving as City Hall until 1915, the building continued as the city’s main fire station until 1962. It received a facelift in 1934 with the widening of the front garage bay to accommodate larger fire trucks.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, the building later fell into disrepair.
The City of North Little Rock rehabilitated it in 2003 for use upstairs as the offices of the city’s History Commission and Historic District Commission and archives. Downstairs housed the William F. Laman Library’s Argenta branch until it moved to it’s current location in the old Post Office Building on Main Street.
The History Commission now occupies both levels. The lower level is used for on-going historical exhibits and has also become a popular location for neighborhood associations, non-profits and others to hold meetings.
For more information, contact the North Little Rock History Commission at 501-371-0755.