Seven Arkansas Properties Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Seven Arkansas properties in five counties have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant properties.

The newly listed properties are:

* Moro Bay Ferry at Moro Bay in Bradley County, consisting of a towboat and barge built by the Barbour Metal Boat Works of Missouri in 1965. “From 1828 onwards, a ferry played a significant role in allowing travelers to cross the Ouachita River at Moro Bay and be able to more easily travel in the area that is today Bradley and Union counties,” according to the National Register nomination. “Although the ferry suspended its operations in 1948, the importance of the crossing as a transportation link is illustrated by the fact that the Arkansas State Highway Commission reinstated ferry service in 1965. The Moro Bay Ferry allowed for a more direct route between Warren and El Dorado, which did not necessitate going to Calion to cross the Ouachita River, and also allowed for a shorter travel time between the two towns. The importance of the crossing was also illustrated by the fact that the ferry was replaced by a bridge in 1992.”



* Bold Pilgrim Cemetery near Morrilton in Conway County, containing burials dating to around 1880. “Although the surrounding community has vanished, the Bold Pilgrim Cemetery continues to exist as a testament to the dramatic changes in population and culture of the area in the decades following the Civil War,” according to the National Register nomination. “The early African-American settlers of Conway County, Arkansas, have compelling and varied histories. These men and women who migrated to Arkansas were daring, courageous, and determined. They were bold pilgrims. Although uncertain about their future, they were willing to take the chance that a better life awaited them in Arkansas.”



* Dr. Neil Crow, Sr., House at Fort Smith in Sebastian County, a Mid-Century Modern-style building constructed 1967-68 and designed by architect John Williams. “The design of the Dr. Neil Crow, Sr., House also reflects the increased relationship between the indoors and outdoors, as well as the issue of privacy in house design,” according to the National Register nomination. “The design of the Crow House, with its large windows along the rear façade, encouraged residents and visitors to interact with the house’s surroundings. The placement of the large windows away from the street also emphasized privacy for the house’s occupants from the street.”



* Clay County Courthouse, Eastern District, at Piggott, built 1966-67 and designed by the firm of Donnellan & Porterfield. “When it was built, the building was a significant departure in design from the previous Clay County Courthouse in Piggott, which was a building with Romanesque Revival influences designed in 1888 by the state’s premiere architect, Charles Thompson,” according to the National Register nomination. “The current building, with its long low design and heightened central section delineating the courtroom space, and strict symmetry in the façade, illustrates influences of the New Formalism style of architecture.”



* Clay County Courthouse, Western District, at Rector, built 1966-67 and designed in the New Formalism style. “Donnellan & Porterfield employed several New Formalism characteristics in their design for the Clay County Courthouse in Corning,” according to the National Register nomination. “The building used cast concrete, for example, that could have been meant to mimic a more luxurious material. In front of the courthouse, the design has a small plaza with benches, and the front façade is also emphasized in the fact that it is approached by a larger number of sidewalks and employs more glass than the other façades. In addition, the fact that the courthouse took up the block and was designed with a raised center section delineating the courtroom also gave it the modern monumentality that was a hallmark of the style. Finally, the Clay County Courthouse, Western District, also exhibits the strict symmetrical façade that was also characteristic of the style.”


* The Cecil M. Buffalo, Jr., House at Little Rock in Pulaski County, built in 1968 and reflects the “Baysweep” design of Oklahoma architect Dean Bryant Vollendorf. “The setting of the Buffalo House was the perfect use of the ‘Baysweep’ design,” according to the National Register nomination. “The fact that the site overlooked Landmark Lake meant that a design that took advantage of that characteristic and took advantage of the view of the lake was ideal. (The Buffalos installed three wells that allowed the lake to maintain its level above the surrounding water table.) The placement of the house so that the wall of glass on the interior of the semi-circle overlooked the lake was perfect. The design also shielded the courtyard from Arch Street Pike as well as the driveway since the house was located further up the hill from the driveway.”



* Thomas Gray House at Little Rock in Pulaski County, built in 1963 and designed by its owner in the Mid-Century Modern style of architecture. “The Thomas Gray House was designed by architect Tom Gray, who worked for the noted Little Rock architecture firm of Wittenberg, Delony, and Davidson,” according to the nomination. “Gray began his career at WDD as a designer and quickly worked his way up through the firm, becoming chief of design and eventually becoming the firm’s president in1976. He was responsible for designing many of WDD’s well-known buildings and several of his designs won regional, state, and national awards.”

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

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