Timeline of Taborian Hall
♦ First tenant was African American fraternal insurance organization, the Knights and Daughters of the Tabor.
♦ Also in 1918, a Negro Soldiers Club opened on the ground floor, providing a recreational center for African American soldiers stationed at Camp Pike.
♦ Taborian Temple housed many commercial endeavors including professional offices for Dr. J. V. Jordan, dentist, and Dr. W. B. Black, physician, Gem Pharmacy, Ritz Beer Garden, and Dreamland Grill.
♦ By 1937, the Dreamland Ballroom was firmly established on Taborian’s third floor and was host to the musical greats Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington among others.
♦ During World War II, the United Service Club, USO, bought the building and turned the first to the third floors into a club that served thousands of Black soldiers from Camp Robinson (formerly Camp Pike) and the Stuttgart Air Base.
♦ In 1954, the Temple became known as Taborian Hall, and housed three nightclubs: Twin City Club was in the basement; the Waiters Club was located on the second floor; and the Dreamland Ballroom had morphed into Club Morocco.
♦ By 1970 all of the clubs had closed and the building was abandoned.
♦ In 1991, Kerry McCoy purchased the building to house her business FlagandBanner.com.
♦ In 2009,Friends of Dreamland, a non-profit group, was established to protect and restore the Ballroom.
♦ Today, restoration continues with your generous tax-deductable support!
Archives on the web of Dreamland Ballroom:
Here you will find links to stories, editorials, photos, photographers who have worked in the ballroom, videos taken in Dreamland along with news footage and every link we can find that discusses Dreamland Ballroom. Every one, individual, group, school, organization, business, photographer, bride…whomever you have our deepest gratitude for posting such wonderful things on the internet to show the world about Taborian Hall and her Dreamland Ballroom.
Historically significant building, Taborian Hall saved from destruction
The Taborian Hall is more than monumental; it is a living monument. The grandiose, Classical-style structure was built in 1916. It was part of the African American business district on West Ninth Street in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, and hosted legendary performers like B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.
The area declined in the 1970s, and most original buildings were torn down. The Taborian Hall was empty and neglected until a local woman resurrected it as headquarters for her business. By doing so, she saved both the building and a part of Little Rock’s history.
Saved by a Woman’s Love
Kerry McCoy often passed the ruin and dreamed of running her business, Arkansas Flag and Banner, from such a grand building. Eventually,
she worked up the courage to go inside and made her way to the third floor Dreamland Ballroom. Birds chirped and sun streamed in through a hole in the roof, and, in a moment of euphoria, McCoy saw past the wreckage to the majesty that could resurface.
In 1991, she bought the building and began repairing the roof. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, McCoy opened the first floor to the public and expanded her business to sell patriotic gifts and decorations at Taborian Hall. Although the first two floors were functional, the third floor remained in shambles for a decade after Flag and Banner moved in. Although the Dreamland Ballroom was perhaps the most interesting and historically significant part of the building, the cost of its renovation was prohibitive.
Students impress with MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom
Little Rock, Ark., – Yesterday as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, the Mosaic Templars brought a group of student volunteers to the Dreamland Ballroom (MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom), located at 800 West 9th Street on the third floor of the Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com building.
The group of students brought great attitudes and terrific work ethic along with them, they not only painted the ballroom floor they also cleaned inside and around the outdoor area of the 800 block of 9th Street. Everyone employed at Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com was greatly impressed by the young people who turned out. These students gave up a day out of school to be a part of the Mosaic Templars MLK Day Challenge at Dreamland Ballroom, though none of them seemed to feel that they were giving up anything. (more…)
Dreamland Ballroom was the site of an Arkansas Life photo shoot several weeks ago for an article featuring Arkansas’ top “Creatives.” The resulting photos are a sight to behold!
Editor Katie Bridges wrote:
I’ve said “I can’t believe I never knew that place existed!” countless times this month. Innumerous. In fact, I’m fairly certain my colleagues’ eyes must be rolling as they read this.”That place” I’ve been referring to is the storied Dreamland Ballroom, tucked away (and currently undergoing renovation) on the third floor of Arkansas Flag and Banner’s storefront on Ninth street in downtown Little Rock. Built in 1918, it once played host to such soul-stirring greats as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong (!) and Etta James. I could wax poetic about its peeling paint and plaster- clad in corals, cobalts, goldenrods– its graceful, sloping ceiling. It’s diamond-patterned reliefs. Its ability to transport you back in time, imagining yourself lost in Satchmo’s trumpet, Ray Charles’ piano. (more…)
The Friends of Dreamland Ballroom Board will visit The Green Corner Store on Wednesday, March 20th at 5 p.m. to taste the “Dreamlandaberry” limited edition ice cream created by Loblolly Creamery in honor of the Dreamland Ballroom.
A portion of the sales of the flavor will be donated to Friends of Dreamland Ballroom. Dreamlandaberry, a creamy concoction of white chocolate and mixed berries, will be available throughout the month of March.
Producer Mark Wilcken will capture the tasting on film for an Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) documentary about the Dreamland Ballroom. (more…)
More media coverage about the exciting Dreamland documentary project!
In Arkansas magazine discusses the ballroom documentary project and also KTHV Channel 11 in Little Rock announces filming. Video links ahead:
February 12, 2013
Contact: Kerry McCoy, email@example.com, 501-690-1700
Filming has begun for AETN documentary about the Dreamland Ballroom
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) was recently awarded a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and additional funds from the Moving Image Trust to produce a documentary about the Dreamland Ballroom in the historic Taborian Hall, home of Arkansas Flag and Banner, on Ninth Street in Little Rock.
Filming began in January and will run through the end of 2013. Producer Mark Wilcken hopes to have a finished product by the summer of 2014, adding “This project has been in development for several years so it feels great to finally start production. The building and the Ballroom are filled with stories that I’m excited to uncover and share with the audience.”