Development in this neighborhood, Hillcrest, began in the 1890s after a group of investors from Michigan led by H. F. Auten and Edgar Moss purchased eight hundred acres of land one mile northwest of Little Rock. Building was slow at first until 1903, when a streetcar line was extended to the area, and by 1904, Little Rock’s first “streetcar suburb” had grown to over four hundred people. In 1905 the Hillcrest Addition (now a Historic District), from which the entire neighborhood takes its name, was platted. Development in Hillcrest peaked during the 1920s. This house was designed for Werner and Faith Yingling Knoop. Knoop, a structural engineer, was a founder of Baldwin and Shell, one of Arkansas’s best-known construction companies. He also was active in politics and served as mayor of Little Rock from 1958 to 1962. One of only a handful of Moderne buildings in Little Rock, the house stands out among the surrounding period revival buildings in the neighborhood. Though it takes its address from the street running along the north side of the property, the building’s main facade is oriented toward the south and the large garden. Typical of Moderne architecture, the house has an irregular composition, a flat concrete roof, metal casement windows, glass blocks, and only minimal exterior ornamentation. Relatively few alterations have been made to the building. These consist primarily of a new garage added in 1948 when the previous garage was converted to living space, and in 1960 a screened porch was enclosed.
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