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skirby

Then and Now

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I thought it might be interesting to show what was there in the past and what is there now. If you have any photos of the Little Rock area from the past please post.

Capitol Ave. looking west just east of Main Street. This picture is from 1958. Notice at the intersection people can walk in any direction even in a diagonal. On the right side of the photo all the buildings up to the old post office are gone except for one. The Capitol Theater is now the site of the Regions Bank Building. On the west side most of the buildings up to the Hotel Sam Peck, now Legacy, have been torn down. Most of the remaining buildings are in the block between Louisiana and Center.

ilrcapitolavenue1958tx8.jpg

The same view on a Saturday afternoon in 2006. During the 50's Saturday afternoon was the day people went downtown to shop.

dscf2978zv8.jpg

The street is not as wide now because the sidewalks have been expanded and trees have been planted. Most retail has left and all except one or two are located in the office buildings.

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I like the old look, kinda reminds me of old Birmingham photos.

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Very interesting comparison-- lots of buses and pedestrians in the 1958 photo. Cool

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Some of the businesses in the 1950's picture are:

Pattison Jewelers

Guaranteed Shoe Store

Franke's Cafeteria

Melford Jewelers & Optical

Super Market

Sterling Department Store

P. C. Hardware

Western Auto

Baptist Book Store

Safeway Grocery

S. H. Kress

Capital Hat and Sporting Goods

Liberty Sandwich House

Eddie's Lounge

Economy Drugs

Merle Norman Cosmetics

Krystal Hamburgers

Capital Typewriter

Capitol Theater

Gulf Station

B. F. Goodrich Tire Company

Dumas Milner Pontiac

The stores at the NW corner of Capitol and Main were torn down for a McDonald's which has been torn down also. The land is now empty.

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Some of the businesses in the 1950's picture are:

Pattison Jewelers

Guaranteed Shoe Store

Franke's Cafeteria

Melford Jewelers & Optical

Super Market

Sterling Department Store

P. C. Hardware

Western Auto

Baptist Book Store

Safeway Grocery

S. H. Kress

Capital Hat and Sporting Goods

Liberty Sandwich House

Eddie's Lounge

Economy Drugs

Merle Norman Cosmetics

Krystal Hamburgers

Capital Typewriter

Capitol Theater

Gulf Station

B. F. Goodrich Tire Company

Dumas Milner Pontiac

The stores at the NW corner of Capitol and Main were torn down for a McDonald's which has been torn down also. The land is now empty.

Franke's Cafeteria is still around, just not in the same location. Ithink they have a location in the Regions Building and they have one on Rodney Parham as well. I think they had one in the University Mall at one point which closed, though I could be wrong about that. I think they hit 100 in 3 years (I think it was started in 1909).

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Markham St. east of the old state house.

Then: The Marion Hotel.

postcardmarionhotelff0.jpg

Now: The Peabody Hotel.

dscf2951bz1.jpg

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Markham St. east of the old state house.

Then: The Marion Hotel.

postcardmarionhotelff0.jpg

Now: The Peabody Hotel.

dscf2951bz1.jpg

I was really young when they imploded the Marion and the other building (?). Kind of a shame, the Marion had such great history. I heard its condition was too poor to rehab.

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It's a shame that there's not the street level retail like there used to be. I love that look of tons of people filling the streets doing their thing. It's just so urban feeling!

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It's a shame that there's not the street level retail like there used to be. I love that look of tons of people filling the streets doing their thing. It's just so urban feeling!

That's what's still missing in downtown LR despite all of the gains made in the River Market area and up Markham. I'm hoping Main will be the area we'll see street level retail reborn because it has a lot of suitable storefronts. Of course, those storefronts are occupied, they just don't have the kind of business we want there.

The tenants that we want to see downtown are the kind that are opting for the walkable shopping areas of the Heights and Hillcrest, though, and I hope that they can be convinced to choose downtown some as well. Retail slots in those areas are scarce and pricy.

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Interesting pics skirby. Nice to see how things have changed between then and now.

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Looking South down Main St.

1950's

ilrmainstreet1955southvk3.jpg

Today.

dscf3106ia4.jpg

As you can see the buildings on the Westside of the first two blocks are gone. Replaced by parking lots.

A parking deck on the Eastside replace buildings in the second block.

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Such an assortment of streetfront retail.

Great Shots Skirby, it's pretty cool to see how much the area has changed.

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A few interesting historical photos I found:

The State Capitol under construction:

arkives_int_photo_capitol.jpg

State Capitol today from Episcopal Collegiate

4.jpg

Markham looking west from Main in the early 1900s, The 2nd building on the left is the Capitol Hotel.

ar_little_rock05.jpg

Arkansas School for the Blind, ca 1939

arkansas.jpg

Union Station

littlerock1.jpg.w560h340.jpg

Union Station today, from Episcopal Collegiate

15.jpg

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HotelInteractive.com had an interesting piece on Little Rock the other day. Here are a few excerpts I feel were worth noting...

"In my travels as a journalist, I have never witnessed such transparency in destination development and promotion. To understand Little Rock is to understand the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth about the American character. "

"Whether walking uptown, downtown or along the waterfront, you encounter revived retail outlets occupying former factories and manufacturing facilities, farmer

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