Entry Category: Historic Preservation - Starting with L

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 …

Lady Baxter

Lady Baxter is a Civil War–era sixty-four-pounder siege gun that was used by forces loyal to Elisha Baxter in the Brooks-Baxter War, his 1874 altercation with Joseph Brooks over the governorship of Arkansas during Reconstruction. The cannon is on display on the grounds of the Old State House Museum in Little Rock (Pulaski County). During the Civil War, the siege gun that would become known as Lady Baxter was part of the armaments of the CSS Pontchartrain, one of two Confederate gunboats that plied Arkansas’s waters. Along with most of the Pontchartrain’s other heavy weapons, the gun was removed from the vessel to provide cannon for Fort Hindman, the major earthwork guarding the Confederate garrison at Arkansas Post. A Union …

Lafayette County Courthouse

The Lafayette County Courthouse is an early 1940s-era Art Deco building built with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is known as the first Art Deco building in Lafayette County, though its style also heavily incorporates WPA Moderne. The Lafayette County Courthouse is located at 1 Courthouse Square in Lewisville (Lafayette County). The current Lafayette County Courthouse is the fourth courthouse to be built in Lewisville. Several years after the first courthouse was constructed, the railroad was built south of the town. The city of Lewisville began to build southward toward the railroad, and a second courthouse was constructed in the newer part of town in 1890. Fourteen years later, another courthouse was built to replace it. Finally, from …

Lafayette Hotel

aka: Lafayette Building
The Lafayette Hotel in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) opened in 1925 and was one of the state’s best-known hotels until its closure in 1973. Now known as the Lafayette Building, it houses offices and condominiums. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1982. Little Rock was experiencing solid growth during the 1920s, and an entity known as the Little Rock Hotel Co. decided to capitalize on that growth with a new hotel. A. D. Gates of St. Louis, Missouri, was the company president, and John Boyle of Little Rock was the vice president. The ten-story structure, which has a full basement, was designed by St. Louis architect George Barnett. The Lafayette opened on …

Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures

Construction of what are now known as the Lake Catherine State Park Prisoner of War Structures was started by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s and completed by German prisoners of war in 1945. Located at Lake Catherine State Park at 1200 Catherine Park Road in Hot Spring County, these structures—a 210-foot-long, nine-foot-tall stone retaining wall and an outdoor stone oven—were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 24, 2017. Lake Catherine was created when Remmel Dam was completed on the Ouachita River in December 1924. In 1935, Arkansas Power and Light founder Harvey C. Couch donated more than 2,000 acres of land surrounding Lake Catherine to the State Parks Commission. Two years later, …

Lake Dick

The area of Lake Dick, a U-shaped oxbow lake in Jefferson County, was the site of a New Deal program in agriculture during the first administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The experiment involved the “resettlement” of struggling urban and farm families. How the lake got its name has been a source of speculation. Located one mile west of Arkansas Highway 88 and four miles south of Altheimer (Jefferson County), Lake Dick was at one time the site of farmsteads for some eighty white families who had been moved into the area. In 1936, the Resettlement Administration—later to be made a part of the Farm Security Administration—acquired 3,453 acres of farmland in Jefferson County with the twin goals of establishing …

Lake Nixon

Lake Nixon is a 232-acre tract in southwestern Little Rock (Pulaski County) that includes a thirty-four-acre lake. It is owned and operated as a day camp/recreation facility by Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock. The camp has its roots in a landmark 1969 Supreme Court decision. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2017. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned segregation in public places and employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin, proprietors nationwide began trying to circumvent the law by creating segregated private clubs, particularly in recreational settings. Whites could join those clubs by paying a nominal fee, while African Americans were excluded. Oscar …

Lake Village Confederate Monument

The Lake Village Confederate Monument is a commemorative sculpture erected in 1910 by the Jacob McConnell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) of Lake Village (Chicot County) and the George K. Cracraft UDC Chapter from Eudora (Chicot County) in honor of local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Chicot County provided three companies for Confederate service during the Civil War. Among the soldiers who served in them were Captain Jacob McConnell, who fought with the Chicot Rangers (Company A, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles) and was killed in action in the fighting at Chickamauga, Georgia, on September 20, 1863, and Captain George K. Cracraft of Company G, Twenty-Third Arkansas Infantry, who was …

Lake Village Post Office

The Lake Village Post Office at 206 South Cokley Street in Lake Village (Chicot County) is a one-story, brick-masonry structure designed in the Colonial Revival style of architecture. It features a mural financed through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later renamed the Section of Fine Arts), a Depression-era stimulus project that promoted public art. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998. In August 1937, Congress passed an appropriation bill providing a $23 million lump sum for construction of public buildings. Included in the allocation was $75,000 for a new post office for Lake Village, the seat of Chicot County. Though details of construction could not be located, the building …

Lakeport Plantation

The Lakeport Plantation house in Chicot County is Arkansas’s grandest remaining example of antebellum Greek Revival architecture. The plantation was established around 1831 by Joel Johnson, the scion of a large and prestigious Kentucky family. Johnson had sold his house and grist mill in Scott County, Kentucky, and set off for Chicot County. He purchased a tract of land southeast of Old River Lake (present-day Lake Chicot) just above a large oxbow curve in the river called American Bend. The plantation he developed there was named Lakeport after a nearby steamboat landing. For the next fifteen years, Johnson expanded his holdings in land and slaves and brought more land under cultivation. The soil produced abundantly, and slave-based plantation agriculture became …

Lamar Porter Athletic Field

The Lamar Porter Athletic Field has a regulation baseball field featuring a steel-beam-supported, poured-concrete grandstand built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It stands in its original location as the earliest site associated with the Boys’ Club in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1990. The Boys’ Club movement started in 1860 with the founding of the Dashaway Boys’ Club, which provided supervised after-school activities and leadership training for disadvantaged boys in Hartford, Connecticut. Such clubs are nonsectarian in control, leadership, and membership, and are typically located in or near densely populated areas. Membership fees are kept low so that no child will be turned away from lack of …

Lampkin, Sheilla Joyce Ezelle

Sheilla Lampkin was a state representative from Monticello (Drew County) who served in the Eighty-eighth, Eighty-ninth, and Ninetieth Arkansas General Assemblies from 2011 to 2016.  Sheilla Joyce Ezelle was born on August 23, 1945, in Rohwer, an unincorporated community in Desha County, to Lettie Lucille McIntyre Ezelle and James Edward Ezelle. She received her early education in the Desha Central Schools and graduated as salutatorian from Dumas High School. In 1966, Ezelle graduated magna cum laude from the Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College (now the University of Arkansas at Monticello) with a BS in education degree in social studies, and in 1981, she earned a master’s degree in special education from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County).   Ezelle, who had wanted to be a teacher since she was six years old, began her classroom career immediately after graduation. While teaching at McGehee Elementary School in McGehee (Desha County) in 1967, she married Damon Ray Lampkin, who ran …

Latimore Tourist Home

Located in Russellville (Pope County), the Latimore Tourist Home served African Americans from the 1940s until the 1970s as the only overnight accommodations available to them between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Likely constructed around 1900, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 27, 2012. First appearing on fire insurance maps in 1913, the home began accommodating African-American travelers sometime before 1944. Operated by Eugene Latimore and Cora Wilson Latimore and their daughter Anna, the home offered short-term accommodations for African Americans, many of whom worked on the railroad. Eugene Latimore also worked as a veterinarian. The home appeared in the 1949 Negro Motorist Green Book (usually called simply the …

Lawrence County Courthouse

The Lawrence County Courthouse is located in Walnut Ridge (Lawrence County), within the city’s commercial district on Main Street. The building, completed in 1966, stands as one of the newer county seats of justice in Arkansas, with its cohorts erected largely at the end of the nineteenth century or during the New Deal era of the 1930s. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program considers this mid-century building in the New Formalism style as architecturally and historically significant to Lawrence County’s legal history. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2015. In 1870, the Arkansas General Assembly split Lawrence County into two judicial districts to accommodate residents traveling long distances for county business. Legislators designated Walnut …

Lawyers’ Row Historic District

Lawyers’ Row Historic District is a group of four buildings located on West Second Street in Malvern (Hot Spring County). Sitting to the northeast of the Hot Spring County Courthouse, the buildings are similar to one another in design and construction. Lawyers’ Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2015, with three of the buildings listed as contributing structures. The district is located on the northeast side of West Second Street and runs between Locust Street and an unnamed alley parallel to Main Street. Cooper Funeral Home is located at 118 West Second Street at the corner with the alley. Constructed around 1910, the building was first occupied by an undertaker business. …

Lee County Courthouse

The Lee County Courthouse is located on 15 East Chestnut Street, overlooking downtown Marianna (Lee County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant, as it stands as a visible result of the New Deal policies of the 1930s and the best example of the Classical Revival style in the county. The National Park Service added it to the National Register of Historic Places on September 7, 1995. Marianna grew in both size and wealth after the establishment of Lee County in 1873, largely due to the rich agricultural land in the Arkansas Delta and commercial access to the Mississippi River. By the mid-1930s, Lee County needed a larger courthouse than the two-story brick …

Lee Grocery Store

Located on the corner of Main Street and Quarles Road (Arkansas Highway 44 and 85) in downtown Elaine (Phillips County), the Lee Grocery Store building was likely constructed circa 1915, as it appears in the background of photographs taken during the 1919 Elaine Massacre. Operated by the Lee family from the 1950s until 2010, the store is significant for its association with the Chinese community in Elaine and eastern Arkansas, a community that was known in the early twentieth century for operating grocery stores in the Arkansas Delta region. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 13, 2020. The early history of the building is not known, but it was purchased by W. J. …

LeMaster, Carolyn Gray

Carolyn Gray LeMaster was the leading chronicler of Jewish life in Arkansas, through books, articles, and lectures, especially her book A Corner of the Tapestry: A History of the Jewish Experience in Arkansas, 1820s–1990s. Carolyn Gray was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on December 17, 1927, to Elisha Columbus Gray, who was a railroad engineer and brakeman, and Erma White Gray, a homemaker. She left high school after the tenth grade to help support her family and care for her widowed mother. She married Robert W. LeMaster, a hospital executive in Little Rock. They had four children. After the children were grown, LeMaster enrolled in 1975 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where she graduated magna …

Levon Helm Boyhood Home

The Levon Helm Boyhood Home in Marvell (Phillips County) is the preserved home in which musician Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm spent several years of his childhood. It was listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places on August 1, 2018. Levon Helm was born on May 26, 1940, in Elaine (Phillips County). He grew up in and around the town of Marvell, living and working on his family’s cotton farm in the small community of Turkey Scratch (Phillips County). Helm developed a lasting love for music during his childhood and achieved fame with the Band, serving as drummer, songwriter, and vocalist. He could also play the guitar and mandolin. He won two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock …

Lewis, David Levering

David Levering Lewis is a Pulitzer Prize–winning American historian best known for his works on the African-American experience in the twentieth century. He has written biographies of two of the most important figures in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and W. E. B. Du Bois, as well as a reader on the Harlem Renaissance. In 1999, Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” David Lewis was born on May 25, 1936, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the son of John H. Lewis, an educator and principal of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and Urnestine (Bell) Lewis, who taught high school math. Lewis attended parochial school in Little Rock and then continued his education in Ohio and …

Liberty School Cafeteria

The Liberty School Cafeteria, located on Highway 36 in Hamlet (Faulkner County), is a single-story, novelty-sided building erected in 1928 to serve as a school building for the Liberty Special School District. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1927 combined the Sunny Gap, Jeffries, Hamlet, Friendship, and Saltillo districts to form the Liberty School District in what is today the community of Hamlet. A new school was built in 1928 to provide classrooms for grades 1–9. While the National Register nomination says the building was erected in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program, the wood-frame building listed on the National …

Libraries

Libraries serve an important role in offering Arkansas’s citizens access to information and resources. Various types of libraries exist in Arkansas, including public libraries open to all citizens, school libraries that serve primary and secondary schools, academic libraries that support colleges and universities, and special libraries that fill unique roles. The earliest libraries in what became Arkansas were private collections of books owned by French and Spanish settlers in the Arkansas Post area. Due to the difficulty of bringing books from Europe, these collections typically consisted of only a small number of volumes. After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory by the United States, the area that would become Arkansas began to attract more settlers. As additional people moved into …

Lincoln Avenue Viaduct

The Lincoln Avenue Viaduct is a single-span Rainbow Arch bridge constructed of reinforced concrete in 1928. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 9, 1990. On April 21, 1927, the old Baring Cross Bridge between Little Rock (Pulaski County) and North Little Rock (Pulaski County), built in 1873 to carry rail traffic across the Arkansas River, was largely washed away by raging floodwaters despite the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company having weighed it down with coal cars. As the company worked to rebuild the crucial link to its sprawling railyards in North Little Rock, it offered to build a new viaduct linking Lincoln Avenue and North Street above the railroad tracks on the Little Rock side …

Lincoln Building

The Lincoln Building, located at the corner of South Main Street and 15th in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 1994. Constructed in 1905 by C. J. Lincoln, a Little Rock drug wholesaler, the two-story red brick commercial building was designed for retail businesses on the first floor and living quarters in three apartments on the second floor. The Lincoln Building was the first commercial structure in the South Main Street Commercial Historic District (SMSCHD). It was designed in the Neoclassical style, a style which was continued in the Cohn Building at the southwest corner of 12thand South Main Street, the present-day home of Community Bakery. Originally, the corner entrance of …

Lincoln County Courthouse

The Lincoln County Courthouse is located on 300 Drew Street, south of downtown Star City (Lincoln County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as the sole example of the Art Deco style in Star City and perhaps all of Lincoln County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1994. Before the construction of the standing courthouse, Lincoln County used a two-story brick building built in 1911. It was large, with its clock tower being its most distinctive feature. It was centered in downtown Star City, just a couple of city blocks away from its replacement, and it remained standing until 1962. Today, that site is a …

Little Missouri River Bridge

aka: Nachitoch Bluff Bridge
The Little Missouri River Bridge, also known as the Nachitoch Bluff Bridge, is a through-truss bridge located north of the Interstate 30 crossing of the Little Missouri River, connecting Clark and Nevada counties. Beirne (Clark County) and Gurdon (Clark County) are the two closest communities to the bridge. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 9, 1990, and is depicted on a mural in Prescott (Nevada County) at the intersection of Main and First streets. It closed to traffic in the mid-1990s. Details about the construction of the bridge are scarce. Documentation suggests that it was constructed in 1908 by the Morava Construction Company. The main span of the bridge measures 185 feet and was …

Little River County Courthouse

The Little River County Courthouse is located on Main Street in the heart of Ashdown (Little River County). The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the two-story building as architecturally and historically significant as one of the most impressive county courthouses in Arkansas and as the most prominent structure in Little River County. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 26, 1976. After voters moved Little River’s county seat from Rocky Comfort (Little River County) to Ashdown in 1906, the administration of Judge J. B. Arnett oversaw the construction of a new courthouse that began the following year. The county hired architect Sidney Stewart to design the building with the mission to solidify Ashdown’s claim as …

Little Rock City Hall

Little Rock City Hall is located on the northwestern corner of West Markham and Broadway in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Designed by noted architect Charles L. Thompson, it has been the seat of government for the state’s largest municipality since 1908. Interestingly, the Arkansas Gazette heavily opposed the building’s construction, even suing the city to stop it. The old Little Rock City Hall, constructed in 1867, was located at 120–122 Markham Street, the current location of the Statehouse Convention Center. Twenty years after its construction, the old city hall was in ruins, and calls for a new city hall were voiced. Arkansas Gazette editors wrote at the time, “It is to be noticed too, that our worthy council have not …