The Robinson Center is ready for its second act and it just so happens to make a perfectly artistic venue to consider for your wedding day. The space has undergone huge renovations including enhanced acoustics, updated interior finishes, technology upgrades, expanded public lobbies and restrooms, a new centrally-located grand stair to link multiple lobby levels, a brand new conference center overlooking the Arkansas River featuring a grand ballroom and outdoor terrace, and much more. Can’t you just picture the possibilities?
But just don’t take our word for it — John Mayner, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau says at this moment there are between 5-10 weddings already booked prior to the building’s opening.
The Robinson has been preparing for the November opening debut for about three years. It became clear that in order to keep up with the growing arts and culture scene in Little Rock, the Robinson would have to undergo renovations to bring it up-to-date.
“When dealing with such an iconic and beloved structure, you want to do the very best you can to salvage those elements that foster those connections, while trying your best to bring the facility up to current technological standards and 'future proof' it as much as possible,” John says.
As everyone involved from LRCVB staff to the design and construction team prepares for the November 10 re-opening, John says he is excited to hear the public’s reaction as they experience the new building for the first time.
The Space Itself
Once the decision was made to save the Robinson Center structure, plans were made to restore the building’s exterior and historic lobby, but all of its interior spaces would need to be rethought and reconfigured. The goal was to integrate both the historic structure with state-of-the-art updates that result in a visually striking building.
The final design will restore the building’s exterior and historic lobby, highlight the best Art Deco design elements, and seamlessly blend the original structure and the modern new conference center addition. Meaning, the Robinson will be a perfect blend of historic and modern, creating a sophisticated and versatile space for your wedding.
“When you’re dramatically reconfiguring the physical spaces as we did on this project, you’re very cognizant that these spaces need to flow and complement one another,” John says. “We believe the design team has done an excellent job in melding the new construction and spaces with its historic ones.”
Once the renovations are complete, the Robinson will not only be beautiful on the inside. Instead of the building turning its back on the river, the new glass-and-steel addition functions as a new face for the building.
When it Comes to Weddings
From a weddings perspective, there’s quite a bit to be excited about. First of all, with the new performance hall’s complete redesign and new conference center addition, brides will have new options for wedding ceremony and reception venues.
The new Robinson Conference Center addition contains nearly 25,000 square feet of conference center space. It has a flexible ballroom that can accommodate up to 530 people for banquets and four meeting rooms upstairs with access to a 5,800-square-foot terrace with stunning views overlooking the Arkansas River.
Additionally, the new conference center is directly connected to the DoubleTree by Hilton Little Rock, which is also undergoing its own concurrent, top-to-bottom, multi-million dollar renovation. As the exclusive caterer to the new Robinson Center, the hotel has a service kitchen within the new conference center. Brides can work with the hotel’s banquet and sales department to make their wedding planning as simple and easy as possible.
Finally, the new Robinson Performance Hall features a dramatic proscenium stage with 2,214 seats and state-of-the-art technology and acoustics. For brides interested in a dramatic, non-traditional setting for their wedding, this could be a great option.
How To Book
For any bride interested in using the Robinson Center as a potential location for either her wedding ceremony or reception, the first thing they need to do is to contact the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Bookings Coordinator at (501) 370-3246 or by e-mail at Bookings@LittleRock.com to verify space availability and any other facility questions. Once availability is confirmed, the bureau will notify the staff at the DoubleTree by Hilton Little Rock, and brides can work directly with their catering and sales department on their food and beverage and/or room block needs.