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Update: UCA’s historic campus nominated to National Register

Posted: November 26, 2012 - 5:27pm

There’s been a lot of history made on the campus at the University of Central Arkansas.

And for that reason, UCA has nominated eight buildings on its campus — now recognized as the UCA Historic District — for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Conway Historic District Commission met Monday night in City Hall to discuss and make recommendations to the state agency about the UCA historic district and to consider nominations to the commission.

The commissioners solidly endorsed UCA's application.

"We applaud UCA's efforts to keep the historic nature of the campus," said Steve Hurd, Conway architect and chairman of the commission.

Velton Daves, assistant director of UCA's physical plant and a member of the commission, said UCA is committed to preservation of its historic buildings.

"Modern repairs are made with an eye to match original trims, inside and out," Daves said.

Other members of the Commission are Steve Hurd, chairman; Velton Daves, vice-chairman; Scott Zielstra, secretary; Becky Harris, Betty Pickett, George Covington, Sr., Mary Etta Qualls, Trey Massingill and Barbara Stroope.

The nomination of Marianne Smith Welch, president of the Old Conway Preservation Society, was accepted. She served on the committee during the writing, development and implemenation of current stanards and guidelines used by the city.

"I have continued to advocate for the preservation and respectful development of Old Conway," Welch said in her application.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has recommended the nomination of the UCA district  to a review board for consideration at its 9 a.m. meeting on Dec. 5 in room 170 of the Tower Building in Little Rock.

The eight buildings “reflect the the growth and development of the school from the period 1919 through 1963,” according to UCA’s nomination.

The buildings in the district are Wingo Hall, the President’s Home, McAlister Hall, Harrin Hall, Ferguson Chapel, Old Main, Bernard Hall and McCastlin Hall.

The oldest extant building, the Administration Building, constructed in 1919, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in January, 2011.

“The district is the most cohesive collection of historic buildings on the campus and is the historic core of the school,” according to the nomination.

Francis McSwain is director of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency that identifies, evaluates, registers and preserves the state’s cultural resources.

Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Delta Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)

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BuzzBy 11/27/12 - 07:57 am

Will UCA be able to get grant money for repairs and restoration like all the people in the historic district did when it first got OKed?!?!?

Becky Harris
Becky Harris 11/27/12 - 10:39 am
Follow up

I'm asking the city's Planning Director to answer that question.

From Bryan Patrick, Conway City Planner:

"Being on the register does not automatically get people grant money. I don't know of anyone in the Robinson Historic District or our other two registered districts who have received any funds from being listed.

"Being on the register may make a property more apt to receive what few grants are available.

"Monetarily, the biggest advantage to being in a registered district is tax credits from the State and Federal level.

"These must be approved through the State Preservation Program. I don't think UCA will need or is even eligible for any tax credits."

DJB1971 11/27/12 - 10:43 am
Hold on a minute!!!!

If the campus gets placed on the National Register, will future presidents be able to stamp and paint the sidewalks or have multi-colored turf laid everywhere?

What would UCA be without the option to waste money on making the campus uglier every year?

BuzzBy 11/27/12 - 11:34 am

What would UCA be without the option to waste money on making the campus uglier every year?

GravelGertie 11/27/12 - 04:36 pm
Bernard Hall

I lived in Bernard Hall until my husband and I married. I never dreamed that I would someday see it be nominated for inclusion in the National Register. Of course, I can always tell myself the building was already old back then.

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