Mountain View Waterworks
The Mountain View Waterworks is located on the corner of Gaylor and King streets in Mountain View, the seat of Stone County in north-central Arkansas. The metal water tower and associated fieldstone well house were built by the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1936–37. The Mountain View Waterworks was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 5, 2006.
Mountain View and Stone County suffered along with the rest of Arkansas during the Great Depression, and one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies provided much-needed assistance. The Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, which became known as the Public Works Administration, was created on June 16, 1933, as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act. While initial efforts focused on federal projects, Congress soon expanded the PWA aid to state and local projects that provided jobs for unskilled laborers and spending for projects such as waterworks, sewer systems, highways, bridges, tunnels, and electric transmission services.
By the 1930s, Mountain View, being located a considerable distance from the White River, was in need of a good public water supply, and its city government decided to take advantage of the federal services offered. On September 2, 1933, the Mountain View Town Council met in special session and passed an ordinance to “proceed at once to have the necessary reports prepared and open negotiations for the securing of funds for the purpose of installing [a] Water & Sewer system.” The city applied to the PWA for a waterworks, and on September 25, 1935, the agency awarded a $16,000 loan and a $12,964 grant for the project. A contract for $25,778 was awarded on November 26, 1935, and construction began on March 27, 1936; the facility was completed by April 29, 1937. The Mountain View Waterworks continues to serve the community in the twenty-first century as a testament to the work of the PWA.
For additional information:
Brown, Don. History and Architectural Heritage of Stone County. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 1985.
Hope, Holly. “An Ambition to be Preferred: New Deal Recovery Efforts and Architecture in Arkansas, 1933–1943.” Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 2006. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/pdf/publications/New_Deal_Context.pdf (accessed September 23, 2021).
“Mountain View Waterworks.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/ST0318.nr.pdf (accessed September 23, 2021).
Mark K. Christ
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
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