LITTLE ROCK – The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas announced the addition of the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, which houses the Howard County Museum, to their list of endangered places for 2015 in an event last Thursday.
The structure, described by the Historic Preservation Alliance as “a textbook example of Victorian ‘Carpenter Gothic’ architecture”, served as a church between 1912 and 1975. In recent years, the building has suffered damage from weather and neglect.
According to Howard County Historical Society board chairman Freddie Horne, the naming of the Presbyterian Church to the list of endangered places not only raises awareness of the need to preserve the building, but also allows access to the Historic Preservation Alliance’s resources for pursuing grants and contacting architects and specialist restorers.
“This is one of the major steps for the restoration process of the museum, and we anticipate this will help us obtaining grants we have applied for, as well as restoration work that is ongoing. It is a big push toward us having the museum open to the public by Christmas,” Horne said.
The list of endangered places for 2015 includes eight locations around the state, with the State National Bank of Foreman also being listed, as well as two locations in Pulaski County, one spanning Faulkner and Conway Counties, one in Jefferson County and one in Mississippi County, and one in Monroe County.
The Historic Preservation Alliance began the program in 1999 to raise awareness of Arkansas’s historic properties that are endangered by neglect, encroaching development and loss of integrity. Previous places listed include the house Johnny Cash grew up in, the Rohwer and Jerome Japanese-American interment camps, the Woodsmen on Union building in Hot Springs and many others.
To be included, properties must be listed or eligible to be listed as Arkansas or National Historic Places, significant to their local communities, and under current threat, according to a statement released by the alliance.
Horne was joined for the announcement by former Nashville resident and endangered places selection committee member Dr. Thomas DeBlack.