Julian Bunn Davidson
Julian Bunn Davidson (February 23, 1906-November 28, 1997) is a former architect and partner with Wittenberg, Delony, and Davidson. He is architect of the Robinson Center Music Hall, the Grady Manning Hotel, the First Commercial Bank tower, buildings at Tucker Prison, the chemistry building at the University of Arkansas, the Arkansas Union, Mullins Library, almost all of the older buildings on the campuses of the University of Central Arkansas and Hendrix College, the art deco Bale Chevrolet, Arkansas Power and Light at Ninth and Louisiana streets, the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Building, Arkla Plaza, the First National Bank building, Arkansas State Hospital, the Lanai Towers of Hot Springs' Majestic Hotel, and Osceola High School. He designed the classical friezes for the Ben McGehee Hotel (later renamed the Grady Manning) that are now embedded in the facade of the Peabody Hotel.
In his youth Davidson served as a courier for Wittenberg and Delony, eventually getting is own drafting table. He was a 1924 graduate of Little Rock High School and a 1928 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In April 1933 he married Irene Davis McCall of Marshall. He studied structural engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940 and 1941 before being drafted. During World War II he worked in a guided missile test laboratory at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Silver Springs, Maryland. Davidson was the first architect licensed as an engineer in the state of Arkansas. Remembered Davidson in 1989, "I started small. Mostly residential work. Then I did small commercial work. My first fairly large job was Osceola High School."
Davidson enjoyed model railroading. He even built a home on Battery Street specifically to watch the trains at Union Station. He also prowled the rail yards in North Little Rock, taking photos of locomotives and other rolling stock.
Davidson retired in 1980. He died of Alzheimer's disease in 1997.
- Larry Ault, "Julian Bunn Davidson: Architect, Genius Left Mark Across State," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 30, 1997.
- Art Meripol, "An Architect's Architect," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 2, 1989.