Preserve Arkansas’s 2020 Most Endangered Places list includes a nationally significant military hospital, a Trail of Tears witness structure, the Grapette Company headquarters, a Charles Thompson-designed bank, a historic mercantile, Lafayette County’s first jail, and a New Deal-era high school building. Preserve Arkansas is also featuring Little Rock’s oldest municipal golf course as “One to Watch.”
The Most Endangered Places Program is overseen by Preserve Arkansas, the statewide nonprofit advocate for historic preservation. It began in 1999 to raise awareness of historically and architecturally significant properties that are facing threats such as deterioration, neglect, insufficient resources, and insensitive development. Preserve Arkansas solicited nominations from individuals and organizations throughout the state.
The list is updated each year to generate discussion and support for saving the places that matter to Arkansans. Properties named to the 2020 list are as follows: Army & Navy General Hospital Historic District, Hot Springs (Garland County), a nationally significant military hospital known for treatment of arthritis and polio that will soon revert back to the Department of Defense with no plan for its future use.
The list also includes: Bank of Carthage, Carthage (Dallas County), a small town bank designed in 1907 by Arkansas architect Charles L. Thompson that is now in an advanced state of deterioration; Grapette Building, Camden (Ouachita County), the headquarters and bottling plant of the Grapette Company that now has structural safety issues; Henry Brothers Store, Jacksonville (Pulaski County), a 1925 mercantile and the oldest building in the National Registerlisted Jacksonville Commercial Historic District in desperate need of roof repair.
Additionally, the list includes: Old Jail Log Cabin, Lewisville (Lafayette County), a log cabin built in 1830 to serve as the county’s first jail that is now in need of emergency repairs to secure its future; Old Pocahontas High School/Old Rock Building, Pocahontas (Randolph County), a 1939 building constructed by the NYA and WPA that for many years housed the school auditorium, is now in danger of being demolished to make way for a new school complex; Plummer’s Station, Plumerville (Conway County), the 1830 home of Samuel Plummer, namesake of Plumerville, and a witness structure to the Trail of Tears and stop along the Butterfield Overland Mail Route that is now in extremely poor condition. One to Watch: War Memorial Golf Course, Little Rock (Pulaski County), the oldest municipal golf course in the capital city that operated until July 2019.