The storing and restoration of historical artifacts falls to the North Little Rock History Commission. Located in a turn-of-the-century firehouse, the Commission has a wealth of items, photographs, and records dating back to when Argenta was founded.
The North Little Rock Heritage Center at 506 Main Street is located in the city’s first fire station. Constructed in 1895, the city’s main fire station was in the building until 1962. Rebuilt in 2003, the building is home to the North Little Rock History Commission and the North Little Rock Historic District Commission. The first floor features exhibits on the city’s history. The archives of the city are located on the second floor as well as research files and materials available for public use. The building is open to the public from 10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday and for special events. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-371-0755.
HISTORY COMMISSION MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the North Little Rock History Commission is the collection, keeping and caring of materials bearing on the history of the city from the earliest times, and maintaining those materials in the archives of the City of North Little Rock. The commission provides educational programs and services, and encourages and assists in scholarly research on the history of North Little Rock.
The History commission was established by city ordinance in 1975. Seven volunteer members, appointed by Mayor Eddie Powell, began collecting historical photographs, documents, objects and oral interviews for the city archives. Active for more than a decade, the commission resigned en masse in 1987, stating it had accomplished what it set out to do, after publishing “North Little Rock: The Unique City,” a history book authored by commissioner Walter Adams with assistance from other commission members Evelyn Eubank, Gene Hull, Grayson Dickson, Pat Davis, Earlene Butterworth, and Alfred Schultz.
Mayor Patrick Henry Hays revived the commission in 1989, and two years later, Sandra Taylor Smith was hired as Director. With archives stored at the William F. Laman Library at 2801 Orange Street, the commission opened an office in 1993 in the historic Barth-Hempfling House at 507 Main Street. In 1999, the commission’s offices and archives were moved to the historic Park Hill Water Company building at 3427 Magnolia Street. The offices and archives moved again in 2003 to the second floor of the historic fire station and city hall building at 506 Main Street. Today, the commission uses the first floor for exhibits and meetings. The second floor continues to house offices, meeting space and climate controlled archives.
In 2004, during the city’s centennial, the commission published a history book, titled “On the Opposite Shore: The Making of North Little Rock,” written by award winning journalist Cary Bradburn, who joined the staff of the History Commission in 2002. Copies can be purchased at the commission or the North Little Rock City Clerk and Treasurer’s Office in City Hall.
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MISSION STATEMENT
The mission is the collection, keeping and caring of materials bearing on the history of the city from the earliest times and maintaining those materials in the archives of the City of North Little Rock. Copying and editing official City records and other historical materials. Encouraging historic work and scholarly research on the history of the City.
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
Regular Monthly Meeting – 5:30 p.m. 2nd Thursday – 506 Main Street
To recognize, protect, and enhance such properties, areas, and districts, which represent or reflect elements of the city’s cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history.
The Commission’s actions in reviewing and approving construction projects in the Argenta Historic District is intended to not only safeguard that area for the city, but to stabilize and improve property values in the district, foster civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past, protect and enhance the city’s historic areas to visitors, and promote the use of historic districts and landmarks for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the people of the city.
The Historic District Commission is available to provide technical assistance to owners and occupants of historic properties. The Commission office has a preservation resource library with information on paint, architectural styles, and copies of all of the National Park Service Preservation Briefs, to mention some of the materials.
Historic District Commission staff assists in research of historic properties. The Commission office has North Little Rock City Directories, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, newspaper files, and many other materials.
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