Local groups aim to preserve historic Arkansas places

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two of three properties on the state’s most endangered places list are in Little Rock.

The War Memorial Golf Course and the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House haven’t been used in years.

The Terry House is more than 181 years old, making it one of the oldest homes in the entire city. But it was abandoned and now needs upwards of a million dollars in repairs.

That’s why groups like Preserve Arkansas are trying to save it and other unused properties like the War Memorial Golf Course.

The Terry House was built in 1840.

“This is a source of community pride, it’s a gathering place,” said Rachel Patton with Preserve Arkansas.

But all it’s gathering now is a long list of repairs.

“There’s some water infiltration, wood and brick failure issues that are visible,’ Patton said.

Patton says the home was deeded to the City of Little Rock in the 1960’s.

It’s supposed to be used for the arts, but within the last decade, it’s been used for…nothing.

“During that time, deferred maintenance has caused some issues,” Patton said.

Meanwhile, the War Memorial Golf Course has been closed for nearly two years.

“And there’s not been any kind of plan that I’m aware of for its future use that’s been fully adopted by the city,” Patton said.

Last summer, the proposal to turn the space into Topgolf flopped. A move Patton says pleased some, as many people want “for that park to remain as largely open green space that’s accessible to everyone in the city.”

Patton says both properties qualify for grants through the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

And there may be a way for the city to partner with a for-profit entity.

“And in that case, there could be a federal and state historic tax credit project undertaken on either one of the properties,’ Patton said.

Until then, the War Memorial Golf Course turns into just a memory and the Terry House falls to ruin.

Preserve Arkansas says some money from the Little Rock mayor’s proposed one percent sales tax increase is ear-marked for improvements at the golf course.

Voters will approve or not approve the tax increase this fall.

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