Rosenwald School, rural churches that are the linchpins of their communities, commercial buildings with ties to Arkansas’ Jewish and Chinese merchants, one of the state’s last motion picture palaces and the home of a well-known African-American attorney and civic leader are all deemed Preserve Arkansas’ 2019 Most Endangered Places.
Preserve Arkansas announced the 2019 list Wednesday (May 1) at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock.
“2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Most Endangered Places list in Arkansas, and we look forward to assisting this year’s properties and refocusing our advocacy efforts on past listings as well,” said Rachel Patton, executive director of Preserve Arkansas, in a media release on the list.
The program started in 1999 with a goal “to raise awareness of historically and architecturally significant properties throughout the state that are facing threats such as deterioration, neglect, insufficient resources, and insensitive development.”
Preserve Arkansas seeks nominations throughout the state and updates the list each year to generate discussion and support.
Properties named to the 2019 list are:
- Adler Building in Batesville, an 1881 commercial building constructed by Jewish merchant Simon Adler.
- Chu Building in Forrest City, a ca. 1915 building that housed a Chinese grocery and an African-American theater.
- Emmet United Methodist Church in Emmet, a 1917 Colonial Revival-style church that serves a small but devoted congregation.
- Scipio A. Jones House in Little Rock, the 1928 home of Scipio Jones, prominent African-American attorney and civic leader.
- Malvern Rosenwald School in Malvern, a 1929 school for African-Americans built with assistance from the Julius Rosenwald Fund.
- Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church & Cemetery in Marvell, a 1957 church built to replace an earlier structure, with an adjacent cemetery containing historic burials.
- Saenger Theater in Pine Bluff, a 1924 motion picture palace, one of the last of its kind in Arkansas.