Concordia Hall, a Jewish community social gathering place, was housed on the second floor of the Porbeck & Bowman building in downtown Little Rock during the late 1880s. The Porbeck & Bowman building, as well as the Geyer & Adams building and a new state-of-the-art Manuscripts Repository, now comprise the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas Arts and History on President Clinton Avenue.
A marker commemorating the building and the hall was erected in 2009 by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
The marker reads, "From 1882 to 1887, an ornate two-story space on the second floor of this building served as the social hall for the Concordia Association – an organization established in 1864 to help Jewish immigrant families adapt to their new lives in Arkansas. Despite religious segregation that prohibited Jews from belonging to most community-wide social organizations, many non-Jewish groups also used Concordia Hall for events.
Brothers Jacob, Hyman and Levi Mitchell from Galicia became the first Jewish settlers in Little Rock in 1830. The establishment of Congregation B’nai Israel in Arkansas in 1866 affirmed the American principles of freedom of religion and assembly. At that time, more than 200 Jewish families lived in Little Rock, with most of their businesses located in this downtown area.
Although statistically small, Little Rock’s Jewish population has provided leaders in the business, educational, and philanthropic life of Little Rock, including the revitalization of the River Market District, which was aided by the Ottenheimer Foundation."