5 Arkansas properties listed on National Register of Historic Places

Five Arkansas properties have recently been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NTHP), the country’s official list of historically significant properties.  The announcement was made in Little Rock by Frances McSwain, Director of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources.  One local property made the list, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, “a building that reflects the French Renaissance and Richardsoniancrescent hotel Romanesque styles of architecture”, the AHPP press release stated.

The release quoted the National Register nomination, “The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is an architecturally significant work by architect Isaac S. Taylor from St. Louis, Missouri.  He is world renowned for leadership in the execution of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.  He also designed a total of 10 hotels during his career; nine of which were actually built with only a few still standing.

“His modern classic design of the Crescent pulls many elements from his other works.  Such features include the rough-faced, square stonework; the Roman arches over the windows and French doors; and the towers that create the penthouse level.  However, it is this mix of various styles that gives the Crescent a uniquely authentic style that sets it apart from Taylor’s other works.”

Jack Moyer, hotel general manager and vice-president of operations for both the Crescent and its sister downtown hotel, the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, responded to the announcement, “We could not be happier.  The Crescent already is a proud member of NTHP’s Historic Hotels of America, but this honor further validates this ‘Grand Ol’ Lady of The Ozarks’ rightful place in the pantheon of preserved and functional landmarks.  We have Marty and ch_circa1890sElise Roenigk to thank for ‘protecting the irreplaceable’ when they purchased the Crescent in 1997 and then put millions of dollars into its refurbishing which made a pathway to economic sustainability through quality of product and delivering above guest expectations.

“In fact, it was Marty who was instrumental in the formulation of our hotel creed upon which all employees are schooled when first employed:  ‘Protecting The Irreplaceable’; ‘Creating Lifetime Memories’ for our guests; ‘Being Community Minded’ for our town, region, state and nation; and ‘Building The Individual’ through ongoing training which results in promotion from within when an upper level position becomes open.”

Other Arkansas buildings equally honored by NTHP were Overstreet Hall on the campus of Southern Arkansas University located in Magnolia, Union Chapel School and Shop Building in Conway County near Springfield, the Little River County Training School Historic District in Ashdown, and Monroe County Bank Building in Brinkley.