NY Times on 'renaissance' vision for Wilson, Ark. | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 20, 2014

NY Times on 'renaissance' vision for Wilson, Ark.

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 8:04 AM

SPRUCING UP: A new owner is bringing an infusion of ideas and money to the Tudor-inspired Delta town of Wilson. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • SPRUCING UP: A new owner is bringing an infusion of ideas and money to the Tudor-inspired Delta town of Wilson.

The New York Times today reports on a dream of a renaissance for the Delta town of Wilson, Ark., once the seat of the vast Wilson family plantation.

Plantation wealth built the company town with Tudor buildings and huge homes. Years passed and the holdings passed into other hands, sold by heirs for $110 million in 2010.

The new owner has plans to turn Wilson into what the Times' described as a "beacon of arts, culture and education."

It might seem a far-fetched notion, except that the man who bought it is Gaylon Lawrence Jr., 52, whose extensive financial holdings include more than 165,000 acres of farmland in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi; five banks; the world’s largest privately owned air conditioning distributor, USAir Conditioning Distributor; and a major citrus operation in Florida.

He's invested plenty in sprucing up Wilson, including luring a Memphis chef to open a fancy cafe with $14 hamburgers.

There are plans for a private academy in a former plantation home and a museum is to open in 2016 on the town square to showcase pottery from a pre-Columbian archaeological dig.

There are plans for concerts and British car shows and an artists’ co-op. And Mr. Faulkner is working with the family of Johnny Cash, hoping it will allow the town to rename its little theater in honor of the musician, whose childhood home is 13 miles away in Dyess.

All of it will be set amid a handful of stately mansions and Tudor buildings, most of which were built after one of Mr. Wilson’s sons came back from a honeymoon trip to England in the 1920s.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation