Thursday, April 16, 2009

Historic Houses in Searcy

I admit, most of my interest in historic structures lies in industrial or commercial architecture, but I still have a great appreciation for beautiful residential buildings. And one might think that Searcy is sparse in that area. Actually, one would be more or less right, at least in comparison to the rest of the populated world. So appreciating the architecture in Searcy takes a bit more patience with the ruinous nature of its old buildings.

To start off, this is the original Yarnell family home. They currently have a not-too-modest mansion up in the Golf Course district. This home is apparently located on 200 East Center Street, but I am not sure if it still stands. That's a project still to be undertaken.

This is labeled as the "T.J. Trawick Home," but I'm not sure who that is. Observant walkers on Center Street may have seen this house. This picture was taken in 1955; the building still stands today (I will probably take a picture of it later).

The main thing I wanted to talk about today goes back to our old friend the Historical Register. When I printed out that document for White County, I found a huge number of houses listed in Searcy. Jenna and I set out to find as many as we can, and we got burned out pretty quickly. Here's just a sampling of what's on the list.

Unfortunately I have no juicy details about any of the history of these houses, I just know they are registered for whatever reason (most of them under the vague category of "architecture"). But the saddest thing is the inevitable mortality of buildings; even the Register is unable to keep many from being obliterated.

The above are two vacant lots which, according to the Register, once contained houses of some value. Most of the entries on the list were made in the early 90s, which leaves almost 20 years of time for contractors to fold their bills and nod at the bulldozers.

Even Harding isn't innocent of the destruction of historic property. In fact, Harding bulldozed one of their own historic buildings not too long ago. Many of you might remember the old Sears Honors House, which was located more or less where the new Thornton education palace stands. The house was on the register, along with Pattie Cobb Hall and one or two other Harding buildings which thankfully still stand.

Out with the old, in with the new, that's what they say...


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