'Walks Through History' to Tour Downtown West Memphis


LITTLE ROCK–The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s next “Walks Through History” tour will visit the West Memphis Commercial Historic District on April 11, AHPP Director Frances McSwain announced today.

West Memphis experienced significant growth after 1917, when the first automobile lanes opened on the Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River, transforming Broadway Avenue into a U.S. highway. Most historic buildings along Broadway were constructed between 1930 and 1950, reflecting the town’s prominence in the auto era. The bus tour will depart from Magruder Hall at Mid-South Community College at 2000 W. Broadway Avenue at 1:30 p.m. (This is a later starting time than most “Walks Through History” tours because it is being held in conjunction with the Arkansas Historical Association’s annual conference.) The tour is co-sponsored by Main Street West Memphis.

In the “Walks Through History” program, AHPP historians each month provide free guided walking tours of historic structures and districts across Arkansas. Most tours begin at 11 a.m. on Saturdays. The American Institute of Architects offers two HSW continuing education learning unit credits for members who attend a “Walks Through History” tour.

Other 2015 “Walks Through History” tours will be held May 16, Downtown Berryville, co-sponsored by the Carroll County Historical Society; June 13, Marianna Commercial Historic District, co-sponsored by the Marianna/Lee County Chamber of Commerce and The Gladlands; July 18, Downtown Malvern, co-sponsored by the Malvern Downtown Development Corporation, Hot Spring County Museum and Hot Spring County Historical Society; August 15, Downtown Bradford, co-sponsored by the White County Historical Society; September 12, Titan II ICBM Launch Complex 374-7 Site at Southside (Van Buren County), co-sponsored by the Van Buren County Historical Society; October 10, Cane Hill (Washington County), co-sponsored by Historic Cane Hill; November 14, Batesville Commercial Historic District, co-sponsored by Main Street Batesville and the Batesville Preservation Association; and December 12, Washington Street Historic District, Camden, co-sponsored by the Ouachita County Historical Society.

All tours are free and open to the public. For information, call the AHPP at (501) 324-9880, write the agency at 323 Center St., Suite 1500, Little Rock, AR 72201, send an e-mail message to [email protected], or visit www.arkansaspreservation.org.

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.