L. C. and Daisy Bates Museum

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates and her husband, Lucious Christopher Bates, lived at 1207 W. 28th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the desegregation of Central High School in 1957–58. They had purchased the land and built the house in 1955 while they were publishing the Arkansas State Press newspaper and while she was the president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Bates House is not far from Central High School, and the home served as a safe place for the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to attend Central, to prepare for school and to return to afterward. Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall visited the home. The home was opened to the public as the L. C. and Daisy Bates Museum.

The house is owned in the twenty-first century by the L. C. & Daisy Bates Museum Foundation, Inc., and the Christian Ministerial Alliance, which hosts luncheons to assist in the funding of the museum.

Much renovation was required to transform the home into a museum. The house was frequently damaged the hands of segregation supporters, and the roof and carports were damaged by a tornado that struck the area in January 1999. The owners made $75,000 in repairs, including the roof, and the interior was restored to replicate how architects believed it to have looked in 1957. In addition to those repairs, furniture was replaced with replicas from the 1950s to match the photos in the archival photographs of Bates home. The historic home includes a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a hall. There is a small plaque in the front yard that indicates its National Historic Landmark status, as registered on January 3, 2001.

For additional information:
“Daisy Bates House.” National Historic Landmark nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PU9757.nr.pdf (accessed October 22, 2019).

L. C. & Daisy Bates Museum Foundation, Inc. https://batesmuseumfoundation.org/about-us (accessed October 22, 2019).

“L. C. & Daisy L. Bates Museum Foundation, Inc.” Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. https://www.arkansas.com/attractions-culture/lc-daisy-l-bates-museum-foundation-inc (accessed October 22, 2019).

“Museum Planned at Little Rock, Ark., Home Where Black Students Met.” Denver Post, December 15, 2009. https://www.denverpost.com/2009/12/15/museum-planned-at-little-rock-ark-home-where-black-students-met/ (accessed October 22, 2019).

Katelynn Caple
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 11/22/2019