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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
McGowans in front of Boyle House, built 1921
Tom and Mary McGowan in front of Boyle House (1921) during 1998 Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes

Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour of Homes

The Spring Tour of Homes is an annual springtime event that highlights the historic development and heritage of the Quapaw Quarter area of Little Rock. Although the Tour has been sponsored for many years by the Landmarks Trust of Greater Little Rock, aka the Quapaw Quarter Association, it actually predates the organization by several years.

Most of the tours have been located in the downtown area of Little Rock, which contains the MacArthur Park, Governor's Mansion, and Central High Historic Districts. Many fine homes and churches were built in these areas during the 30-year period from 1870 to 1920. Unfortunately, many of these structures were destroyed during the urban development of the 1950s and 60s. The few local residents who protested these demolitions met with little success, and decided to inaugurate an event that would focus attention on the great loss to the city's character that these demolitions represented. The Spring Tour of 1963 was the result of these initial efforts. Under the leadership of the Trust, the tour has become a cherished annual event that celebrates the historic nature of many neighborhoods in Little Rock. Besides the downtown area, tours have featured important structures in Hillcrest, the city's first suburb at the turn of the century, and in North Little Rock, across the Arkansas River.

As a result of the tours, thousands of people are now familiar with the community's historic resources. In the last 38 years, the Landmarks Trust has sponsored more than 200 houses, churches, and cottages in greater Little Rock in its Spring Tours. Many individuals and families have purchased and renovated buildings, while general interest has encouraged the nomination of districts to the National Register of Historic Places. Locally-zoned ordinance districts have also been established to preserve and enhance these historic neighborhoods.

The project is documented with an eight-page written report; ten 8 x 10 color photographs; promotional materials; and an edition of the Chronicle Historic Preservation News featuring the 1998 tour.

Originally submitted by: Vic Snyder, Representative (2nd District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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