Buildings

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Entry Category: Buildings - Starting with O

Okolona Colored High School Gymnasium

The Okolona Colored High School Gymnasium served the African-American community in western Clark County for almost two decades. The last remaining structure on the former Simmons High School campus, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 23, 2011. Okolona (Clark County) was first settled in the early nineteenth century. The town attracted residents as it grew into a regional agricultural and transportation hub. Education played an important role in the development of the town, with the first school opening in 1833, followed by a second in 1857. The Okolona Male and Female Institute opened in the town in 1871, and Okolona High School began operations in 1890. Schools for African Americans in the community …

Old Bank of Amity

The Old Bank of Amity is a two-story brick structure located on the northwest corner of the square in Amity (Clark County). Constructed between 1906 and 1907, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1991. Amity was first settled in 1847 and grew over the next several decades due to the rich reserves of timber in the area. By the early 1900s, the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad reached the community, opening up new shipping options for the lumber mills that operated in the area. The Bank of Amity was founded in 1905 by William Curtis Hays. The first mention of the bank building appeared in 1906 when a Gurdon craftsman visited the …

Old Carroll County Courthouse, Eastern District

The Old Carroll County Courthouse, Eastern District at Berryville (Carroll County), built in 1880–1881 and expanded to its current appearance in 1904–1905, reflects the Second Empire style of architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 27, 1976. After Carroll County was created in 1833, its first seat of justice was in the home of William Sneed Jr., between Carrollton (Carroll County) and Osage (Carroll County). Carrolton was selected as the county seat, and a two-story log courthouse was built in 1836, serving until a more substantial brick building was erected in 1844–1845. Fire destroyed that courthouse in the winter of 1859–60, and a new one was not built until 1865, after the end of …

Old Hempstead County Courthouse

The Old Hempstead County Courthouse, located at 400 South Washington in Hope (Hempstead County), is a rectangular five-story structure with smaller two-story wings projecting north and south. The National Park Service listed the courthouse, which remained in use until 2022, on the National Register of Historic Places on May 19, 1994. The Little Rock (Pulaski County) architectural firm of McAnich and Anderson designed the building in the Art Deco style, often seen in government buildings of this period. Art Deco accents included recessed chevron panels above the fifth-floor windows and adornment of sunbursts and chevrons surrounding the main entry doors. Reliefs incorporated into this ornamentation represent the industries of Hempstead County. The flat roofline with parapet demonstrated another standard feature …

Old Randolph County Courthouse

The Old Randolph County Courthouse sits in the middle of historic downtown Pocahontas (Randolph County). The second courthouse to serve Randolph County, the Old Courthouse is made of bricks and wood and decorated with wood trimming. A cupola adorns the roof. The building once had a vault, but it was removed sometime in the 1930s. Although the Old Courthouse is no longer home to the court system, it is still an important landmark for the city of Pocahontas. The Randolph County courts moved their offices diagonally across the street from the Old Courthouse to the new courthouse in 1940, after more than sixty years of service for the Old Courthouse. Since that time, the Old Courthouse has had several uses, …

Old Scott County Courthouse

The Old Scott County Courthouse is located on courthouse square in the historic commercial district of Waldron (Scott County). It was built in 1934 and housed the county government until 1996, when the county completed the current courthouse: a plain, contemporary structure that is located on 1st Street in Waldron. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) recognizes the 1934 building, a three-level courthouse with a full basement, as architecturally and historically significant due to its Art Deco style and as an example of a New Deal–era project. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1989. Since Waldron became the county seat in 1845, seven courthouses have served as the seat of justice, including the …

Old Scott County Jail

The Old Scott County Jail is located on West 2nd Street in Waldron (Scott County), adjacent to the Waldron Commercial Historic District. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 16, 2002. In 1907, plans were made to build a new jail to replace the old wooden jail that was in derelict condition, according to Judge W. A. Bates. J. L. McCartney was chosen to build the new jail after recently constructing a new courthouse downtown. The stone jail was completed in 1908. On March 22, 1933, a fire destroyed the courthouse that McCartney had built. A new courthouse opened on February 21, 1935, with the third floor designed to serve as the county jail. Upon …

Old South Restaurant

The Old South Restaurant, located at 1330 East Main Street in Russellville (Pope County), was built in 1947 from a modular diner system and reflects the Art Moderne style of architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 3, 1999. William Stell—a native of Hugo, Oklahoma—moved to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 1929 and founded the National Glass and Manufacturing Company, a firm that produced metalwork, fixtures, and furniture for department stores and restaurants. In the 1940s, Stell and company architect Glenn Pendergrass developed a modular diner system that the firm could mass produce. The prototype was constructed in Fort Smith around 1945 and was managed by R. C. Strub, who had worked at Schwab’s …

Ouachita County Courthouse

The Ouachita County Courthouse, located on 145 Jefferson Avenue, was built in 1933 and is in the heart of downtown Camden (Ouachita County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as the best example of Georgian-style architecture in Ouachita County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1989. As a result of a tornado that struck Camden on the night of December 13, 1931, the Victorian Gothic courthouse built in 1888 was flattened. The loss of that courthouse, renowned as one of the more impressive courthouses in Arkansas at the time, was a setback for the community. The county constructed makeshift wooden structures to house county affairs …

Overstreet Hall

Overstreet Hall, located at the intersection of East University Street and North Jackson Street on the Southern Arkansas University campus in Magnolia (Columbia County), is a three-story, Colonial Revival–style building constructed between 1941 and 1943 with assistance from the Work Projects Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 26, 2016. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies provided financing for several construction projects at Magnolia A&M College (which later became Southern Arkansas University) during the Depression. The Greek Theater was constructed through the National Youth Administration (NYA), Cross Hall and Nelson Hall were built by the Public Works Administration (PWA), and the building that would later be called …

Ozark Vernacular Architecture

Vernacular architecture is usually defined as structures that groups of people make for daily use—that is, buildings not designed by professional architects but representative of folk culture, produced by members of the community to meet certain needs or desires and guided by the conventions of locality. Ozark vernacular architecture is, therefore, that which was employed in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas from the early nineteenth-century era of settlement until around 1930, when the internationally popular bungalow home began to be introduced into the region. Geographer Fred Kniffen, folklorist Henry Glassie, and several others have identified the Ozarks as belonging to the Upland South “stream” of vernacular architecture, sharing several characteristics with buildings in the Appalachian region, though there were also …