You are here

Central High School Neighborhood Historic District

-A A +A
1890–present. Roughly bounded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Thayer Ave., W. 12th St. and W. Roosevelt Rd.

Although 86 percent of the houses in the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District were built before the construction of Central High School, the district’s historical significance is linked with the momentous campus events of 1957. This turn-of-the-twentieth-century residential division was part of the westward expansion of Little Rock and was laid out along with streetcar lines and the amenities—parks, water and sewer service, paved streets, electricity, and fire protection—that made it desirable. Houses ran the gamut of popular styles, from Colonial Revival to Craftsman. Initially the majority of the residents were white, with a small number of African Americans, many of whom were employed as domestic workers and could walk from their homes to their jobs within the same neighborhood.

On the eastern edge of the district at 1621 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and bordering the Dunbar neighborhood (see PU41) is the building known as Old Main, the center-piece of Arkansas Baptist College, which was founded in 1884 to provide higher education and training for African American teachers and ministers. The four-story Second Empire brick building features gabled dormers in the mansard roof and a reconstructed wooden cupola. In 1927, Central High School (PU44) was built in the neighborhood, and this school, then attended only by white students, became the focus of one of the nation’s earliest desegregation battles and a landmark event in the civil rights movement

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Central High School Neighborhood Historic District", [Little Rock, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-PU43.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 139-140.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,