Through Changing Scenes: Architecture and Community Values in Little Rock's Historic Churches

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rachel E. Miller (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Patrick Lee Lucas

Abstract: This paper investigates why and how six historic urban churches in Little Rock, Arkansas adapted architecturally to changing community needs. In approaching this research, the researcher examined a wide variety of information: what events motivated building alterations, how the community and congregation viewed the church structure, and how churches utilized their buildings to house community services. The churches selected for this study are located within the original nineteenth century city boundary. The social and cultural landscape of the city have changed dramatically over the last century with the urbanization and reform of the Progressive Era, the social unrest and rise of fundamentalism during the War Years, racial tension and urban renewal efforts of the 1950s through the 1970s, and downtown revitalization and preservation concerns of the present era. The researcher compiled Primary source documents to discern each congregation's growth pattern within each era, then analyzed the churches in each time periods in Little Rock's history for a variety of architectural and social themes. The trends that emerged resulted in typologies of church growth. Churches followed similar trends architecturally with regards to style, building materials, and furnishings, as well as patterns in building use. This investigation seeks to look at the churches holistically, not simply as significant architectural structures, but also as community hubs, housing critical spaces that shaped Little Rock's urban community.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Historic preservation, church history, Little Rock, Arkansas, architectural history
Historic preservation.
Church architecture $z Arkansas $z Little Rock.
Church buildings $z Arkansas $z Little Rock $x History.

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