Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
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CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
While called the "Central High Crisis" by the world in 1957, Little Rock also became known as the city where the federal government took a stand against segregation.
As a way to mark and learn from this period in history, the Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center offers its guests a historic look at the events surrounding the Central High Crisis.
2120 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr. Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Cost: Free. 374-1957; www.nps.gov/chsc
Already a favorite and source of pride throughout the Little Rock community, Heifer International has grown. The newly-opened Heifer Village, sandwiched between Heifer and the Clinton Presidential Center, gives locals and visitors more to love. Heifer Village is part museum, discovery center and classroom, and is designed to inspire. Its interactive exhibits are unique and focus on the serious subject of ending hunger and poverty.
Like Heifer International's headquarters next door, Heifer Village is an example of responsible construction practices and is definitely worth a look. In fact, Heifer's headquarters has garnered a number of national awards for its green building.
Heifer International has helped approximately 10.5 million families in more than 125 countries move toward greater self-reliance.
1 World Ave. Hours: Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday from noon–5 p.m. Cost: Free. 907-8800; www.heifer.org/heifervillage
HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM
Restoration has been a major theme in the recent history of the Historic Arkansas Museum, whose grounds display some of Little Rock's oldest homes. The newest updates include the 1830s Plum Bayou Log House site and a River Rail stop on Second Street, making it easier for visitors to access the city's frontier past. The museum's permanent and traveling exhibits are showcased in its five galleries, including Gallery II, Trinity Gallery, Horace C. Cabe, Study and Knife galleries. A sixth exhibit hall, the Sturgis Children's Gallery offers interactive fun for the young and young-at-heart.
The museum's five pre-Civil War buildings, including the 1826 Hinderliter Grog Shop, offers visitors a unique way to learn about the early history of the state.
200 E. Third St. Hours: Monday–Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday 1–5 p.m. Cost: The museum is free, but the Tour of Homes is $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for seniors over 65, $1 for children under 18. 324-9351; www.historicarkansas.org
Now known as The Empress of Little Rock Bed & Breakfast Inn, this ornate 7,200-square-foot mansion is a spectacular example of 1880s Queen Anne architecture and is considered one of the best small luxury hotels in the country. The gardens surrounding the house are equally spectacular.
2120 S. Louisiana St. Public tours available Monday-Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and by appointment only on the weekend. Cost: $7.50. 374-7966; www.theempress.com
One of the newer structures in the neighborhood, this Georgian Colonial-style home was completed in 1950 during Gov. Sidney McMath's term. The mansion incorporated brick from the old Arkansas School for the Blind, which originally occupied the site where the house now sits.
1800 Center St. While open to the public for tours on Tuesday and Thursday, you must call ahead for an appointment. Cost: Free. 324-9805; www.arkansasgovernorsmansion.com
MACARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY
Named for World War II commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History was created to honor the state's military heritage through exhibits featuring artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items.
The museum is located in the city's oldest surviving neighborhood, and original Tower Building—where Douglas MacArthur was born Jan. 26, 1880—is the centerpiece of the 36-acre MacArthur Park where the museum is located.
MacArthur Park is home to both the military museum and the Arkansas Arts Center.
503 E. 9th St. Summer hours: Tuesday–Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 1–4 p.m. Closed Monday and major holidays. Cost: Free. 376-4602; www.arkmilitaryheritage.com
MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER
Tragically in 2005, the Mosaic Templars of America's headquarters burned to the ground. Stunned motorists mourned the loss as they drove into downtown Little Rock the morning after the fire. But like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes, a new building was built in its place and was dedicated as the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a state-funded museum dedicated to the Templars and the state's black history.
Ninth and Broadway streets. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Free. 683–3593; www.mosaictemplarscenter.com