Star City Commercial Historic District
The Star City Commercial Historic District in Star City (Lincoln County) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The district features eleven contributing buildings and one monument. The 1926 Star City Confederate Monument on the town square was individually listed on the National Register in 1996.
West Bradley Street borders the district on the south while South Jefferson Street provides the western border. The northern and eastern boundaries of the district are marked by the town square. The dominant architectural style is Twentieth-Century Commercial with some Classical Revival details. The brick and stucco structures are simple with minimal ornamentation.
Star City was created by the Lincoln County court in 1871 and incorporated in 1876. The construction of a courthouse in 1872 north of the current district fixed that area as the city center. Development of the town expanded from that section, which served as the hub of commercial and municipal activity. Agriculture and timber were the primary occupations, and there were several sawmills. Agricultural industry included a cannery, potato shed, tomato shed, and fertilizer plant. The introduction of the Gould Southwestern Railroad in 1909 further influenced the commercial character of Star City.
Economic progress resulted in the construction of commercial buildings around the town square and a brick courthouse in 1911. Buildings in the Star City Commercial Historic District representing the period of early growth in Star City date from 1916 to circa 1928.
Structures along the West Bradley Street boundary include Nichols Hardware Building (1923), Adams Smith Building (1922), Peacock Inn (1928), Vick Building 1923), Crow Drug Store (1928), Lincoln Ledger Building (circa 1916), Johnson Mercantile Building (1916), and 216 Bradley Street (1916). The Star City Theater, located on Bradley Street, collapsed in the early 2000s.
Three buildings on South Jefferson Street are included in the district: Norton Mercantile (1927), W. D. Davis Grocery Store (1927), and 108 Jefferson (1927). The Star City Confederate Monument is located at the northwestern corner of South Jefferson and West Bradley streets. The 1911 Lincoln County Courthouse on the town square was razed in 1962, and the monument was moved to the grounds of the current courthouse. It was relocated to the town square in 1992. A brick tower erected in the center of the square in 1992 contains the clock face from the 1911 courthouse.
The Star City Commercial Historic District is a representation of mid-century commercial growth in a small agricultural Arkansas Delta town. The simple Twentieth-Century Commercial structures found in the boundaries reveal the character and evolution of commercial architecture in Star City.
For additional information:
History of Lincoln County, Arkansas, 1871–1983. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1983.
Hope, Holly. “Star City Commercial Historic District.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form, 1999. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
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