Thomas Cox & Sons Machinery Company as it appeared in Little Rock and Pulaski County Arkansas Illustrated, a book published in 1907.
Thomas Cox first entered the machinery business in Dardanelle in the late 1800s, but later expanded his business into Little Rock’s “machinery market” in 1905. The office and salesrooms of the Thomas Cox & Sons Machinery Company were located at 322-324 East Markham Street, while the warehouse and boiler platform were located catty-corner from this office at Second and Commerce Streets. The company’s wrecking plant was located in east Little Rock.
The Thomas Cox & Sons Machinery Company’s warehouse was constructed around 1906. The curve of the warehouse’s south wall resulted from the presence of railroad tracks. A 1907 description of the company lists the warehouse as carrying: “a most complete line of general mills supplies and [as] the general agents for the DeLoach saw and single mills, the Houston, Stanwood & Gamble engines and boilers, the Straub Machinery Co.’s corn mills, and the Farquhar threshing machine and portable outfits…” This machinery company went out of business in 1925, but the building was used as a warehouse until 1999.
Capital improvement bonds approved by Little Rock voters in 1998 allowed the Central Arkansas Library System to transform the warehouse into what is now known as the Cox Creative Center. Since its restoration in 2001, the adaptive reuse of the Cox Building allows this antiquated structure to function as a book and gift shop, art gallery, and meeting area for library events.