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bigboyz05

Which cities downtown architecture do you like better

City with the Best Downtown Architecture   34 members have voted

  1. 1. Which city looks better?

    • Texarkana
      6
    • Pine Bluff
      6
    • Jonesboro
      6
    • Fort Smith
      16

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41 posts in this topic

I left the NWA and L.R. areas out on purpose because they would clearly win.

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This is hard for me to pick because I admit I don't know all those cities very well. I still need to go down to Van Buren/Ft Smith and check that area out more. If I had to pick I might pick them from what little I've seen. Pine Bluff has some interesting areas it's just economically depressed. If it ever made a comback I think Pine Bluff's downtown area has a lot of potential. I can't say I'm very familiar with Jonesboro or Texarkana very much. Most of what I know is from this site.

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I voted for Fort Smith. The downtowns of Fort Smith/Van Buren are very beautiful. Fort Smith is very unique. It has a good mix of the west and the south. It's also very urban compared to the others. My second choice would've been Texarkana.

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I voted for Texarkana, but I will admit that it was a slightly blind vote. While I've been to each of those areas at least once in my life, nothing really stands out in any of them except Texarkana. I'm sure the only reason Texarkana stands out is because I'm very familiar with the city and I think it has a charming downtown. I believe the dual-state post office adds to the appeal of downtown as it's a beautiful building. The Amtrak Union Station is pretty on the inside as well.

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we need pictures.....

I've been to the fort smith downtown. Never been to jonesboro. Passed through Texarkana downtown at night. And pine bluff looked pretty dilapidated from Mith's pics.

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I picked Pine Bluff. Sure its downtown is in disrepair, but the question is about the architecture. Pine Bluff has many wonderful old buildings from years ago when it was a thriving agricultural hub in the Delta. The Saenger Theatre, old Pines Motel, and Jefferson County Courthouse are great buildings, just to name a few. Hopefully the city will preserve the old buildings before it's too late.

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I chose Ft. Smith.

Ft. Smith has a few 8-9 Floor Towers in it's downtown, not to mention countless frontier like buildings, the Ft. Smith National Historic Site, Ft. Smith Holiday Inn & Convention Center, and the Ft. Smith National Cemetary.

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We need pictures? Here's a start... Texarkana's post office (from the web)

That flagpole in the middle is on the state line. Texas is on your left and Arkansas is on your right. The post office literally sits on the state line, with half the building in Texas and half in Arkansas. It doesn't get more unique than that!

DSC00053_state_line_road_at_courthouse_2005-05-16_780.jpg

.

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Old pictures of downtown Texarkana (most of these buildings still exist today)

TexarkanaBroadStCa1915.jpg

STLINE.JPG

Hotel Grim - still exists today

TexarkanaHotelGrim1925.jpg

Union Station - straddles the state line - still exists today

UnionStation2.jpg

Beech Street First Baptist Church, Texarkana, AR - still exists today

beech.jpg

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I think Ft Smith is clearly #1 because not only are there are many historic buildings but they are being occupied and used well downtown adn they take genuine pride in the area, and because the question was architecture the clear #2 would be Pine Bluff. The buildings and architecture there are terrific but as has been stated in a bit of disrepair. I was pretty disappointed in my trip to downtown Texarkana. There's potential there but it needs a whole lot of work, it's essentially a ghost town right now - especially at night.

Jonesboro doesn't have much of a "downtown". If there was another choice to add, I would throw in El Dorado. They have a charming square area that is well-maintained and their downtown is fairly well-occupied.

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I have heard that about El Dorado's downtown as well. Aporkalypse, I agree downtown Texarkana needs work but the city is finally investing into downtown and there are some interesting projects that will soon start down there. I will fill you in later.

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I think Ft Smith is clearly #1 because not only are there are many historic buildings but they are being occupied and used well downtown adn they take genuine pride in the area, and because the question was architecture the clear #2 would be Pine Bluff. The buildings and architecture there are terrific but as has been stated in a bit of disrepair. I was pretty disappointed in my trip to downtown Texarkana. There's potential there but it needs a whole lot of work, it's essentially a ghost town right now - especially at night.

Jonesboro doesn't have much of a "downtown". If there was another choice to add, I would throw in El Dorado. They have a charming square area that is well-maintained and their downtown is fairly well-occupied.

I haven't been to El Dorado but I have heard good things about it's downtown area.

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I think Ft Smith is clearly #1 because not only are there are many historic buildings but they are being occupied and used well downtown adn they take genuine pride in the area, and because the question was architecture the clear #2 would be Pine Bluff. The buildings and architecture there are terrific but as has been stated in a bit of disrepair. I was pretty disappointed in my trip to downtown Texarkana. There's potential there but it needs a whole lot of work, it's essentially a ghost town right now - especially at night.

Jonesboro doesn't have much of a "downtown". If there was another choice to add, I would throw in El Dorado. They have a charming square area that is well-maintained and their downtown is fairly well-occupied.

I'm with you on Texarkana...

However, I can vouch for the fact that Texarkana is trying to get people to reinvest in their downtown area. An old theater will be reopening, old buildings are being renovated into lofts, they built a new park downtown a year or two ago, and there are restaurants trying to locate in that area. A group of Mexican men from Shreveport moved to Texarkana to open Zapata's Grill in downtown Texarkana about four or five years ago. Zapata's is an offshoot of the highly-successful Superior Grill in Shreveport, and since so many people come from Texarkana just to eat at Superior Grill, those guys knew they were sitting on a gold mine. Zapata's is now one of Texarkana's most popular restaurants and is helping to fuel some redevelopment in that area.

Texarkana just needs to nip their newfound northern sprawl problem in the bud now before they lose their downtown area altogether. The cities of Texarkana, TX and Texarkana, AR are both very happy to have all the new developments in their area, but it is coming at the expense of their downtown area. I just hope these recent downtown developments get things moving in that area again.

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I haven't been to El Dorado but I have heard good things about it's downtown area.

Same here! That's one city in this area I've never been to or through, but I've seen it on our local news from time to time when they travel to small towns around the region. Looks very nice and pretty busy,a nd there are actually more taller buildings than I would have thought.

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Same here! That's one city in this area I've never been to or through, but I've seen it on our local news from time to time when they travel to small towns around the region. Looks very nice and pretty busy,a nd there are actually more taller buildings than I would have thought.

The square is nice and there is a nice mix of shops and restaurants around it.

Don't forget Murphy Oil is based there and they are a Fortune 500 company. Deltic Timber is also based there and besides being a wood/paper company they own and develop properties, including Little Rock's major post-1990 upscale development, Chenal, which has two Robert Trent Jones courses and 5000 homes starting at $350k and running up to the multimillions. It's been losing population and importance for decades but these companies are doing well.

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I'm with you on Texarkana...

However, I can vouch for the fact that Texarkana is trying to get people to reinvest in their downtown area. An old theater will be reopening, old buildings are being renovated into lofts, they built a new park downtown a year or two ago, and there are restaurants trying to locate in that area. A group of Mexican men from Shreveport moved to Texarkana to open Zapata's Grill in downtown Texarkana about four or five years ago. Zapata's is an offshoot of the highly-successful Superior Grill in Shreveport, and since so many people come from Texarkana just to eat at Superior Grill, those guys knew they were sitting on a gold mine. Zapata's is now one of Texarkana's most popular restaurants and is helping to fuel some redevelopment in that area.

Texarkana just needs to nip their newfound northern sprawl problem in the bud now before they lose their downtown area altogether. The cities of Texarkana, TX and Texarkana, AR are both very happy to have all the new developments in their area, but it is coming at the expense of their downtown area. I just hope these recent downtown developments get things moving in that area again.

Don't forget about the renovation of the Municipal Auditorium down there. I know what you mean about the sprawl. The area around St. Michael Hospital has turned into a downtown type area with all the hotels and the Century Bank Building there. If all that development was downtown it would look real nice.

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Need to add Hot Springs to your poll. It would win :)

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Need to add Hot Springs to your poll. It would win :)

It was left out along with Little Rock and the NWA Metro areas because they would clearly win. :)

This is a competition for the smaller-midsized downtowns of Arkansas.

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I'm not voting, because I'm not that familiar with each downtown. Plus, I carry some bias in my opinion. I did, however, want everyone to know about the new website for downtown Jonesboro. www.downtownjonesboro.org.

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Nobody mentioned it but Russellville has a very nice downtown. It's not huge but it's fully restored and has good tenants in the buildings and no vacancies to speak of.

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It was left out along with Little Rock and the NWA Metro areas because they would clearly win. :)

This is a competition for the smaller-midsized downtowns of Arkansas.

Yeah I agree. I love downtown Hot Springs, more so now then when I was in High School... you never like where you live when you are in high school because it is "boring". But after living in other parts of the state the last 6 years, I love downton Hot Springs now.

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Yeah Hot Springs is a gem! I need to get up there and look around.

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It's a shame Fort Smith tore down it's old Union Station (where Holiday Inn / Convention Center now stands) and the Goldman Hotel (now a church parking lot). A lot was also lost in the 1996 tornado.

There are also some very interesting buildings still badly in need of renovation -- first on the list is the New Theater.

New Theater:

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/231/

If only there were locals with the wealth and vision to reclaim these gems before they meet the same fate as the Goldman Hotel.

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It's a shame Fort Smith tore down it's old Union Station (where Holiday Inn / Convention Center now stands) and the Goldman Hotel (now a church parking lot). A lot was also lost in the 1996 tornado.

There are also some very interesting buildings still badly in need of renovation -- first on the list is the New Theater.

New Theater:

http://cinematreasures.org/theater/231/

If only there were locals with the wealth and vision to reclaim these gems before they meet the same fate as the Goldman Hotel.

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You wouldn't happen to know where any old pics of the old Union Station are?

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