Berryville Agricultural Building
The Berryville Agriculture Building, located in the Berryville High School complex at 902 West Trimble Street in Berryville (Carroll County), was built in 1940 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992.
The Berryville School District learned in July 1936 that it had been selected to participate in the federal Smith-Hughes program, which supplied funding so that local districts could provide vocational training for students. There was a question of where the instruction would be given, however, with the Berryville Star-Progress reporting on July 9 that “it is not known whether a Smith-Hughes building will be erected,” or whether classes would be held in the Berryville Gymnasium, which was then under construction.
Though the district requested funds for a Smith-Hughes building from the WPA in September 1936, it would be more than three years before financing for the project was approved. In late June 1940, the Star-Progress reported that work had started on the building under WPA supervisor Dave Thorn and that “the building will be 38×64 feet and will be constructed of native stone veneer at a cost of about $2,000 to the local school district and about $4,000 of which will be paid by the [federal] government.” The north end of the building housed classrooms, while the south end held shop and manual training facilities. Stone was quarried at the George Keck farm a few miles north of Berryville.
The Berryville Agriculture Building was complete and in service by the fall of 1940. The building was designed in the Plain Traditional style of architecture, with banks of windows providing light to the classrooms; a later brick addition was attached to the building’s rear elevation. It continues to serve Berryville High School students in the twenty-first century.
For additional information:
“Berryville to Get Smith-Hughes Unit.” Berryville Star-Progress, July 9, 1936, p. 1.
“State News in Brief.” Arkansas Gazette, June 24, 1940, p. 9.
Story, Kenneth. “Berryville Agriculture Building.” National Register of Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CR1079.nr.pdf (accessed May 22, 2020).
“Work Started on New Gymnasium.” Berryville Star-Progress, September 17, 1936, p. 1.
“Work Started on Smith-Hughes Building.” Berryville Star-Progress, June 27, 1940, p. 1.
Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System
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