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Old VA hospital, I-40 overpass among 10 Arkansas properties added to National Register

by Bill Bowden | September 21, 2021 at 5:28 p.m.
FILE - The site of the old Veterans Affairs hospital on East Roosevelt Road in Little Rock (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/John Sykes Jr.)

Ten Arkansas properties have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

The newly listed properties include the old Veterans Administration Hospital in Little Rock, the student union from the time of Arkansas A&M College in Monticello and an interstate overpass in Conway County.

The old VA Hospital at 300 E. Roosevelt Road is a 10-story, concrete structure that was constructed from 1948 to 1950 to help accommodate the needs of veterans returning from World War II.

A new Veterans Administration hospital — the John L. McClellan Memorial Hospital — opened in 1984 at 4300 West 7th Street, closer to the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus to allow the sharing of equipment and facilities, according to the nomination.

The student union at what was then Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College in Monticello also made the National Register list.

Commissioned in 1951 and completed in 1954, it’s known today as the Visual/Performing Arts Building at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The building is a large structure with a mixture of single-story and two-story sections. Designed by Little Rock architect Bruce R. Anderson, it’s the earliest example of the International Style of architecture in the Drew County area, according to the nomination form.

In 1971, Arkansas A&M College merged with the University of Arkansas to become the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

One of the more unique properties on the new National Register list is an overpass over Interstate 40 on Fish Lake Road at Blackwell in Conway County.

The overpass, built in 1967 by the H. N. Rodgers & Sons Company of Memphis, is an “inverted delta steel-beam bridge with a reinforced-concrete deck,” according to the nomination.

Five sets of steel beams — each forming an “inverted delta,” or V-shape — can be seen in the interstate median supporting the overpass.

Other Arkansas properties added recently to the National Register include:

• Batesville Overpass, Batesville, Independence County

• Heathcliff Cabin, Mena, Polk County

• Russellville West Overpass, Russellville, Pope County

• Des Arc High School Home Economics Building, Des Arc, Prairie County

• Alton and Ruby Mae Kerby House, North Little Rock, Pulaski County

• Rock Island Railroad Overpass, El Dorado, Union County

• Anderson-Taylor House, Fayetteville, Washington County


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