Look Up, Little Rock! A Walking Tour of Little Rock, Arkansas
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Little Rock, Arkansas is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. More
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.
Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
Early travelers on the Arkansas River were well acquainted with the navigational aid on the south bank that had been known as "le petit rocher" (the little rock) since French explorer an trader Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe had recorded its existence in 1722. Settlement of the area, however, did not take hold for another 100 years. With its access to water transportation and its central location, Little Rock was named territorial capital in 1821, incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1835. Still, by the coming of the Civil War in the 1860s the population was less than 4,000.
Following the Civil War the railroad arrived in Little Rock in 1873 and was followed in short order by the telephone, electricity and cobblestone-paved streets. By the 1890s Main Street had evolved into a vibrant commercial thoroughfare and the shopping destination of the state, lined with fashionable shops, five-and-dime variety emporiums and full-service department stores.
Arkansas was an enthusiastic player in urban renewal in the 1960s. Main Street was gutted but nothing came along to replace what was lost and by 1977 in an effort to save the downtown Main Street was reborn as a pedestrian mall. When that failed the cars came bak in 1991 but the life, not so much.
Today downtown Little Rock retains souvenirs from virtually all eras of its past and our walking tour will seek them out, starting with the most historic building of them all, located not far from that eponymous outcropping of rock by the river...