Central High neighborhood: What was, what is, what could be | Rock Candy

Central High neighborhood: What was, what is, what could be



The Architecture and Design Network presents a panel discussion on the historic Central High neighborhood at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the lecture hall of the Arkansas Arts Center, part of its ongoing free lecture series.

‚ÄúTHEN AND NOW: the Central High School Neighborhood" will feature Arkansas Historic Preservation historian Rachel Silva, architect Kwendeche, Central principal Nancy Rousseau and Central High Neighborhood Association president Vanessa McKuin, who is also the head of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. (See this 2011 article about the neighborhood.) From the ADN news release: 

The westward expansion of Little Rock in the mid-1890's gave rise to the West End, a section of the city which became known as the Central High School neighborhood, taking its name from the school which, at the time of its completion in 1927, was designated by the American Institute of Architects as "the most beautiful high school in America".The largest, most expensive school ever built in the United States, it is, perhaps, best known as the site of the 1957 desegregation crisis. The structure, designated by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark, currently draws students from many parts of the city.

The school, which has a current enrollment of 2,419 students, is surrounded by a mix of homes and structures, built over the years in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. In addition to discussing the history and development of the area, the panel will talk about imminent threats to the neighborhood's historic properties and what is being done or needs to be done to save them. A trio of neighborhood groups is actively involved in that effort. The three are the Wright Avenue Neighborhood Association, the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Association and the Central High Neighborhood Association.

A reception precedes the talk at 5:30 p.m.


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