Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 20, 1974 · Page 27
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October 20, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 27

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Sunday, October 20, 1974
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SECTION D FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1974 Sixth Historic Pace Recognized Mitsings On Re-Design Of Square The Northwest Arkansas Architects Council is offering its services to the Fayelteville Housing Authority as design consultant for re-doing the master plan for the City Square. Originally, the master plan called for bulldozing the Old Post Office Building into oblivion and replacing it with a sunken plaza, ornamental orchard, fountains, walks and a soaring clock lower (for focus, folks' svilhout watches .and, in the normal course of events, pigeons). At -least partly in response to an alarm, sounded in this column, citizens concerned with the preservation of community values petitioned the city to save the Post Office Building a n d the lovely maples surrounding it. In the course of this effort the old building, which dates back to the first decade of this, century and is built (as t h e ' s a y i n g goes) like a brick restroom, has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Subsequently, in spite of counsel to' the effect that such an effort was absolutely outside the confines of bureaucratic prudence, the way seems to be clear for the city to acquire the Post Office and convert it to public use. This is a small victory toi People vs. The System, but a happy one for those who have and its origins. Now, though, the Old Post Office Building .obtrudes on the'otherwisc lyric lines of the professional plan 'from St. Louis. DRASTIC REVISION will ui. questionably be necessary. It is into this vortex of aesthetic considerations that the NWA architects propose to descend The proposition is not only to be appreciated, in our view, bui carefully weighed by city 'authority as well. It opens the door for a good deal of valuable input, not only from architects, but from the roots of the public concern which manifested itseli recently in more than 5,000 pe tition signatures to save the Post Office Building. It might be a good idea foi the city to take the NWA Avchi teds Council into its confident in the planning for practica renovation of the Post Office too. It might not be a bad idea in fact, for the city board to consider creation of an ad hoc Downtown Urban Renewal re design commission--working perhaps, under auspices of the City Appearance Committee--to collect and distill local thinking on the Square's over-al rehabilitation. There -would need to be some assurance, of course, that local contributions in the re-design formulation would be accepted in the spirit given. Planners, like poets, tend to resent having their graceful, cohesive, inspired conceptions monkeyed arouns with, particularly by lay folks. But that shouldn't be too tough to achieve. Placement of the Lafayette !regg House, Fayetteville's fin- st 19th century home, on the irestigious National Register.of listoric Places -- an event announced earlier this month -rings to six the number of Vashinglon County structures ;o designated. All are in Fay- ilteville. Nominated and accepted earlier were the -Stone-Walker louse on Center Street; the iidge H o u s e , corner of tenter and Locust; Headquar- ers House, 118 E. Dickson St.; he Washington County Court- louse and, most recently, the Old Post Office Building on the Square. The Gregg House, which is I MUST -CONFESS to one more small reservation- in the proposition. I would like to add a viewpoint or two to commission in addition to that of the NWAAC. Representatives of the city board, and t h e Housing Authority ought to be part of the work group. Downtown Fayetteville should be represented, . as should the County Historical Association. On top of that I would hope the commission- could be large enough to accomodate a , housewife- shopper; .a University student; someone with a solid background in landscape gardening; a banker; a lawyer; and an artist. There would perhaps be a problem, with such a group, of failure to communicate, and never getting anything done. It is worth remembering that some access to design formulation existed in the early stages of the Fayetteville Urban Renewal effort. At that stage of the game (point in time), however, the whole idea was so nebulous that few, if any fully appreciated the significance of the opportunity. But local folks have a much better idea · of what they will wind up with if something worthwhile isn't decided upon; and that .substantial crystal- ization of conviction will go a long way toward achieving a re-design concensus, in all likelihood. Besides, the suggestion isn't that the professionals have to abandon ship. They retain the contract and re sponsibilily for f u l f i l l i n g it In view of Fayetlevi lie's awakened concern for the look of its downtown area, it seems like awfully good business to take advantage of the city' newfound concern to make a» c e r t a i n as possible thai something both appropriate and excellent comes from the ex pendilurc o f ' s o much money time and travail on the Square (As a footnote I might say that I remain unconvinced thai a vegetable market wouldn't d the Square more good than on block removed.) Road Work In County Outlined Slate Highway Department projects completed in Washington County during the past 12 months cost a total of $003,765, according to a progress reporl from the Calvin Peevy, districl engineer for the Fort Smith District. The report also listed projects tolaling $3.554,911 as currently under contract in the county. In his report Peevy listed six projects which he said were completed in fiscal year 1974 They are resurfacing of 4.5 mil cs of Hwy. 59 from the Craw ford County line north; resur facing of 9.6 miles of Hwy. 59 for the junction of Hwy., 62 to the Benton County line. Reconstruction and widenin 0 of 7.5 miles of Hwy. 62 from Prairie Grove to Farmington reconstruction of 6.9 miles o] Hwy. 68 from the Benton Conn ty line to Tontitown; resurfac ing of two miles of Hwy. 68 in Springdale and resurfacing of three miles of selected sec lions of Hwy. 68 from its inter section with Hwy. 71 to the Benton County line. PROJECTS LISTED Projects under contract foi Washington County include: --Widening of 2.66 miles o Hwy. 71 f r o m Fayetteville'to Greenland from two to fou lanes. $1,208.136.) --Construction of a nev bridge over Spring Creek a Springdale, ($125,756). --Reconstruction of 13.80 mil es of Hwy. 62 from the Oklaho ma state line to Prairie Grove ($768,123). - -Reconstruction and sujfac ing of 5.03 miles of Hwy. 30 from Hwy. · 68 lo the Bentoi County line ($319,421). --Reconstruction and sur facing of Hwy. 265 from Hwy 45 to Hwy. 68 ($088,475). --Resurfacing three miles o Hwy. 68B in Springdale ($70,00 0). --Resurfacing of three mile of selected sections of Hwy. 4 rom Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 62 ($75,0 10). [wo Scientists Added To UA Agri Department Two new scientists have beer added lo Ihe staff of the Urn versity of Arkansas Division o Agriculture to strengthen th research work in forestry, ac cording to C. A. Vines, interim ,'ice president for agriculture. Dr. Phillip E. Pope has beei lamed . assistant professor' o lorticuiture and forestry an Deborah A. Eppstcin is researcl issistant in plant pathology Dr. Pope will carry on studie on the ecology and physiolog of intensively managed forests A native of Virginia, he gra duated from the University o ilichmond, and holds M.S. an Ph.D. degrees in forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Universit and Southern University. He has recently completed year of post-doctoral study o intensive forest management i Florida. He assisted with foi estry research while a gradu ate student in Virginia, a n spent six months working to the U.S. Forest Service hefor entering graduate school. Miss Eppstein will assist Dr F, H. Tainter of the plant patho logy department in research o fungi causing-tree blister rus She is a native of Michigan an graduated from Grinnell Colleg in Iowa. She will complete re quiremenls for a Ph.D. degre in chemistry at the Unfversit of Arkansas next month. Sh held an undergraduate researc fellowship at Argonne Nationa Laboratory in the Fall of 196 and has served as research- a: sistant, research f e l l o w , an leaching assislant in th chemistry department. Both appointments have a ready taken effect. Building Entered Robert Smith of Greenlan told sheriff's deputies Satnrda that someone broke into s t o r a g e building at h residence Friday night Saturday morning. Smith sa that apparently nothing wa missing but the building h been ransacked. owned by descendants of e builder, Judge Lafayette regg, is located less than one ock from the University of rkansas campus at 339 N. rcgg Ave. The one-acre site is clemar- aled from its surroundings ilh a low, thick sandstone wall jilt at the time the house was instructed in 1871. The orna- ic-ntal iron fence was added ter. An impressive entrance gate onts the home. It is a double urved stone stile with square ate posts lopped by stone orbs, ngle carved dogwood 'blo's- oms are centered in the aneled faces of the posts. The house itself is a two and ne-half story rectangular brick structure arranged in a typical Georgian plan with matching, n e a r l y equal-sized rooms, arranged about a wide central hdll, both upstairs and down. The central hall is of unusual width and .opens on the rear through a glazed wall to a gallery. The' stairs lo second floor, which . normally are localed conspicuously in a house of this style in the central hall, are concealed in a narrow space taken from the south rear room. A two story gallery extends across the rear of the house, and is supported by IG-inch square brick columns. The north bay of the gallery forms a link between the house and a two-story · brick .smokehouse- kitchen wing placed perpendi-, cujar to the main house. Thei southern hay of the gallery Is I open except for the bay between the house and kitchen wing which was enclosed in the early 1900s. Another small brick building connects to the north facade with a covered breezeway. This is paved with large sandstone slabs. It has been, identified by the family as being constructed as an ice house. It has served a variety of functions since its "ice house" days. ISRICK WALLS The exterior walls of burnt- orange brick, average 12 inches in thickness and are of American common bond. Cut sandstone lintels span most windows and of particular note is t h e ] boxed cornice with paneled s l o p i n g s o f f i t . H e a v y scrolled wood brackets a n d wide brick frieze carry t h e roof overhang. The entrance of the house is a two-story portico with gabled roof.' A broad sandstone stairway with wide solid stone raiting terminates at square stone newels matching the gate posts. The portico is enclosed on the ground level by glass panels and the second story is open and outlined by a baluster of solid jig-saw patterned wood panels. There are eight fireplaces and two interior chimney stacks provide flues for them. Each chimney is a cluster of four separate stacks with the cluster capped by a single sandstone cap. The interior is simple in detail. The fireplaces have brick hearths, white marble mantels, friezes and architraves of 'simple design. Walls and ceilings are plaster on wood lath; painted or papered repeatedly during the life of the house.- ORIGINAL FLOORS The floors throughout arc of hardwood and original hardware and porcelain knobs a r e featured on the four-panel doors. Some of the large rooms have been modified into rental units with makeshift plumbing but none of the-original structure HISTORY AND BEAUTY COMBINE IN A SINGLE STRUCTURE ... the Lafayette Gregg house, its brick loalls as solid as when they were built 103 years ago, dominates its surroundings (TTMESphoto By Ken Good) Old School Begins Fresh Career has been modified significantly, A full attic is lighted by end gable windows and by two dormers on the west slope of the roof. This space has been used through the years as living space. The sloping ceiling and walls are plastered and its floor fully finished. There is a nearly full basement-under the house which is subdivided by bearing walls: of great thickness. It is well lighted by high windows installed, just below the raised ' main floor. ···' The house maintains its elegance not only by virtue of .its size and architectural detailing but also for its magnificent setting and large trees and formal gardens. :::. Judge Gregg planned the gardens himself and maintained them throughout his 1 i f e. Portions are still intact and borders of gigantic crepe myrtle are renowned throughout Northwest Arkansas. ALABAMA NATIVE - Judge Gregg came to a farm near Fayetleville in 1835. He was born near Moulton, Ala., 10 years before the family came west. He received his early education in rural schools and at the Ozark Institute at Mount Comfort. Afterwards h e - studied law under - W.D. Reagan and following admission to the bar he launched a law practice which kept him in positions-of leadership throughout his life. He was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1854 and served as prosecuting attorney of the fourth circuit from 1856 to 1861. A Union sympathizer during the Civil. War, he commanded the Fourth Arkansas Federal Cavalry. Undoubtedly, it was because of his association with the Union forces that the house became known as a station in t h e Underground Railroad which helped slaves- escape :to (he north. As with many local myths, there is no substance to this since the house itself was not erected until after the end of the Civil War. SERVED AS JUDGE .::: After the war-Gregg served as chancellor of the Pulaski Chancery Court from 1865 to I8B8 and associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court from 1868 to 1874. ,i-. When it was decided to establish a university in the state, Judge Gregg look a leading part in canvassing Washington County to secure subscriptions for its location in Fayetteville lie served on the first Board of Trustees and devoted much t me and attention to University affairs. In 188G lie was defeated in a bid for governor by Simon P. Hu-ghes and for a period of time was president of the Bank of Fayetleville. Judge Gregg died in 1891. His granddaughter, Mrs. Carolyn Sregg Magruder, now occupies he house, which for several periods during the past century served as a residence for fra- ernal organizations of the University. By FAUNE CONNER When Hazel G'ox or Dallas, Texas, first saw the old red jrick schoolhouse in Eureka Springs, she knew it would he he perfect setting tor an art gallery. With a little imagina- ion. she also saw the stately Victorian building as a roomy home for her. family. Hazel convinced her husband, r rank, to buy the Abandoned school last spring, and they moved in June 1. By Aug. 23, hey had opened a new and unique attraction -- The Old Red Schoolhouse Gallery. The gallery is one of the largest in Eureka Springs and the owners plan for it to become even larger over the next few years. The 1896 schoolhouse has :hree floors with 4.000 square leet of space on each floor and is situated on a spacious three- i^re tract. Besides being a showplace for lalenled artists from the Southwest, Hazel envisions that the school will become a working arts center through a regular program of art workshops, one- man shows, and various a r t studios located on the school- irounds. For Hazel, 35, the move lo Eureka Springs was a dream come true. Since her first visit there 12 years ago, she had considered the quaint a n d charming town her Shangri-la. When she noticed in the loca" newspaper ttiat the school was for sale, she recognized the opportunity for a gallery. JOINED BY DAUGHTERS She was soon joined in her enthusiasm by her daughters Cindy, 24. and Kelly, 12. Frank, 37, who is co-founder and vice iresident of a Dallas publishing irm, agreed to the move, too, after he saw he could operate his business by telephone from Eureka Springs. The schoolhouse gallery is tucked away at 15 Kansas St. on a wooded parcel of land nol far from downtown Eureka. The main entrance is just off Hwy 62B three blocks south- of the Crescent Hotel, or visitors may walk up to the gallery f r o m Spring Street by way of a trail which begins at Sweet Springs. Signs point the way to the gallery^ which is on the bottom floor of the school. The Cox's have spent long hours preparing the gallery for its recent opening. The aging school was last used in 1951 and was saved from demolition in 1960 by a Eureka Springs couple who partially restored he building as a private ·esidence. When the Cox's arrived in June, they began work on the owcr level, replacing the hardwood flooring, installing new windows and painting the huge rooms with 12 foot walls and jressed metal ceilings. They remodeled old classrooms a n d hallway into two exhibit rooms, two rooms for one-man shows, and one big room for art workshops. ' · MANY ART FORMS The gallery has. on display a wide variety of art forms which appeal to all kinds of .astes. The . tall -walls lend ; h e m s e 1 v e s perfectly for hanging traditional and abstract oil paintings, watercolors and drawings. U n u s u a l contemporary assemblages and striking sculptures in both wood and clay line the exhibit rooms. Jewelry and hand-throw pottery are shown on tables. Hazel has placed large green plants throughout the gallery to accent Lhe many displays. The Cox's handle all of t h e works in the gallery on a consignment basis, and items range from $2 art prints to expensive $7,001) sculptures. One of the most outstanding pieces on display is.a mammoth 28-foot by 12-foot tapestry'which hangs on two walls of the entry room. The abstract tapestry, prices at $4.000, was designed by Eureka Springs artist Miriam : McKinnie and woven in Mexico under her direction. The tapestry, of hand carded and hand-dyed wool, took seven months to complete. A number of different artists are represented in the gallery, many of them from Eureka Springs and the rest from Northwest Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Hazel, who is a non-professional artist, delves in oil painting and pottery but is spending her artistic talents at present in restoring the schoolhouse. She appreciates all types of art and wants to be a part of the growing evolvement of Eureka Springs as an art mecca. With lots of room for expansion, the Coxs h a v e big plans for the old schoolhouse. They have taken over the second floor for their living quarters, changing classrooms into bedrooms, a kitchen, and den and using the cloak rooms as large closets. Their collection of antique furnishings blends with the building's Victorian architecture. Hazel recalls that at first their new home seemed rambling and spooky but, living there, they have filled the rooms up fast. The Cox's intend to use the third floor of the school for additional workshop .space and for a lithograph studio to produce art prints. Beneath the gallery in the bottom of the building are rooms with outside entrances which can be used for other studios or art projects. A duplex on the schoolgrounds which once housed grades 1-3 will become a pottery shop in the near future, while the o l d boiler building is. scheduled to be opened soon as a furniture and sculpture shop. Hazel also is interested in art for the very young and plans to incorporate a children's art corner and classes in the pro- gams of the art center. The Coxs have made great progress toward their goals for an active art center since they came to Eureka Springs in June and feel their hard work h a s been rewarded by the favorable response their gallery. has received from tourists. They want the old schoolhouse to again become a place of learning, this time for education in art forms. The Old Red Schoolhouse Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there is no admission charge. TV, Motion Picture Director To Be Honored At University DIRECTOR LAMONT JOHNSON . scheduled to be on campus next week Television and motion picture director Lamont Johnson will be honored by Ihe University of Arkansas Union Programs Friday and Saturday in a special series of lectures and films. · · Johnson, who has worked with motion pictures, television, broadway stage and even opera, will address students and faculty at 10 a.m. Friday to kick off the two-day activity at the Union Theater. Union programs spokesman said Johnson will meet informally with students and other interested persons during the two days in Fayetleville. J o h n s o n ' s most recently c o m p l e t e d film is "The Execution of Private Slovik," a 250-minute movie for lele- vision, which starred Martin Sheen. The director now is working on a major film, "MacArlhur," based on the life of Gen. William MacArthur. Johnson is preparing the Universal Pictures effort for Frank McCarthy, who produced "Pat- ton." Johnson won the Television Director of the Year Award in 1973 from the Directors Guild of America for his direction of That Certain Summer." The award was the third in his career. He also was named best director of a TV special. Johnson's 20th Century-Fox iilm, "The Last American Hero," was a study of stock car racing, a pure action film based on the Tom Wolfe article on racing king Junior Johnson, To extend the scope of his talents even further, Johnson directed a feature film for United A r t i s t s , "The Runaway," shot entirely on location in Africa, to be released this year. Based on an original Life magazine story by Robert Halmi, who produced the f i l m , the movie deals with the friendship developed by a young American boy with the sen of an African chief. Born in Stockton, Calif., Johnson was drawn lo the stage and mtion picture.-, jt an early age. His bent for the unusual (CONTINUED ON PAGE 2D) High School Speech, Debate Tournament Se! The University of Arkansas will be host to high school speech students for the llth annual University of Arkansas Speech and Debate Tournament here Nov. 1-2. The annual event is designed to give the greatest amount of performing experiences to the greatest number of students, iccording to Mrs. Mary Ingalls, :ournament director, who heads :he University's Fqrensics program. The event is sponsored jointly by the Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts and the Division of Continuing Education. . Mrs. Ingalls said the tournament, which is sanctioned by -he National Office of H i g h . School Activities, will be operated under the rules of t h e National Forensic League a n d ' .he Arkansas Activities Association. Trophies and plaques will be awarded to first, second and third-place sweepstake winners and the top three places in all events. There will be two divisions of debate and each school may enter four teams in each division, four in most individual events, a total of six duet acting teams, one each in radio and television speaking and one in readers theater. Events to be offered are de- bide, both championship and regular, on the national topic; "Resolved: That the United S t a t e s should significantly change the method of selecting presidential and vice presidential candidates"; extemporaneous speaking in both men's and women's division; original oratory; after-dinner speaking; interpretation of prose, poetry and drama; humorous, dramatic and improvised duet-acting: readers theater; radio speaking and television speaking, Approximately 750 high school students from 35 schools are expected to attend. Further information m a y be obtained by contacting Mrs. Ingalls. University of Arkansas Speech and Dramatic Arts Department, Communications Building, Fayetteville, 72701.

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