Prairie Grove Nominated For Historic Register
BOTH DISTRICTS LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN AREA
Two historic districts in downtown Prairie Grove will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
The State Review Board of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recommended the Prairie Grove Commercial Historic District and North Mock Street Commercial Historic District for nomination at its April 4 meeting in Little Rock.
The Prairie Grove Commercial Historic District is located on the south side of East Buchanan Street from the Southern Mercantile Building east to the Prairie Grove Children’s Library. The nomination includes Mock Park.
The North Mock Street Commercial Historic District consists of buildings at 114 and 116 North Mock St. This includes the building that now houses Fat Rolls bakery and the building next door.
Ralph Wilcox, national registrar and survey coordinator for Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, said his office initiated the process to nominate the two districts for the National Register as part of a program to try to create historic districts in downtown areas across the state.
Other historic districts in Northwest Arkansas include Siloam Springs and Rogers downtown areas and Dickson Street in Fayetteville.
Wilcox said the Prairie Grove Commercial Historic District was nominated for its architecture and its association with the commercial history of Prairie Grove. The nomination includes nine contributing resources and three non-contributing resources.
The district has 2.6 acres and represents the main thoroughfare in the town’s central business section. One building in the district, the Southern Mercantile Building, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
A summary on the district shows buildings along Buchanan Street were built 1901-1940 but the period of significance extends from 1883 to 1968. The predominant architectural style is early twentieth century standard commercial.
“Local builders constructed these early twentieth-century buildings with regionally quarried stone and manufactured brick and tile,” the nomination says. “The local brick manufacturer was Terpening Brick and Drain Tile Factory located in the nearby community of Walnut Grove. These bricks are distinctive in the color variations due to the area’s raw clay and ironstone used in its production.”
The nomination notes the district reflects local and regional commercial development trends in the early period of Prairie Grove’s history during its heyday of canning factories, fruit orchards, poultry and livestock production and lumber mills.
The district has evolved to remain a vibrant area.
“Downtown Prairie Grove continues to serve as a social, commercial and recreational gathering for its residents,” the nomination says.
The nomination gives individual, detailed descriptions for each business in the historic district.
Contributing resources in the district are Southern Mercantile Company (107109 E. Buchanan), Country Charm (111 E. Buchanan), Jack’s Barbershop (113 E. Buchanan), What My Eyes Have Seen Photography (115 E. Buchanan), Carquest Auto Store (117119 E. Buchanan), Wild West Emporium (121 E. Buchanan), Sterling Drug (125 E. Buchanan), Crescent Department Store (127 E. Buchanan), Children’s Library (305 E. Buchanan), Mock Park (123 S. Neal St.),
Non-contributing resources in the district are Daisies & Olives Antiques and Beverly Theater (129 E. Buchanan), Prairie Grove Garage (131 E. Buchanan), Magnolia Auto Garage (151 E. Buchanan).
The North Mock Street Historic District was nominated to the National Registry in part for its ornate, metal fronts, according to Wilcox.
The building at 114 N. Mock Street was constructed in 1903 as B.H. Harrison Masonic Temple and now provides meeting space for Prairie Grove’s Occidental Lodge No. 436.
The building next door at 116 N. Mock St., was constructed in 1904 by B.F. Carl and originally was Ozark Mercantile Co., selling furniture and caskets. It now has Fat Rolls Bakery on the first floor and residential space on the second floor.
The predominant style for both is early twentieth century standard commercial.
“The North Mock Street Historic District represents a cohesive collection of two commercial buildings that are significant for their role in the commercial, social, and architectural development of the city during 1903–1967,” according to the nomination. “Overall, the two buildings retain most of their character-defining-details representative from initial construction through the early to mid-twentieth century.”
Common details for both buildings include parapet façades, window openings, storefronts, cornices and other design elements from the period.
Wilcox said the nomination will be forwarded to the National Park Service. By federal law, a decision must be made on the recommendation within 45 days. Wilcox said he expects to hear something back by early to mid June.
Being named to the National Register would not place any restrictions on building owners who want to make changes or improvements to their property, Wilcox said. The districts would have an “Honorary Designation” and owners would be eligible to use state and federal tax credit programs for any renovations.
The state review board in all approved 18 properties under consideration to be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
The State Review Board of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has nominated two commercial districts in downtown Prairie Grove for the National Register of Historic Places. The North Mock Street Commercial Historic District includes these two...
The south side of Buchanan Street in downtown Prairie Grove has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district would go from Southern Mercantile building east to the Prairie Grove Children’s Library.