El Dorado News

Wednesday
April 25, 2018
El Dorado News Times
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News-Times

Historic District awaiting confirmation

Airport waiting to be placed on National Register of Historic Places

By Tia Lyons
This article was published April 16, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

The El Dorado Historic District Commission is awaiting the final word on a nomination to place the municipal airport terminal on the National Register of Historic Places.

Elizabeth Eggleston, executive director of the commission, said the National Park Service is expected to make its decision “within a month or two” about the nomination for the terminal at South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field.

The EHDC worked with the El Dorado Airport Commission to secure a state grant to cover the cost of a survey and other work that went into preparing the nomination and presenting it to the State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

The review board approved the nomination during a meeting on April 4 in Little Rock. The board then forwarded its recommendation to the National Park Service for consideration.

Members of the historic district and airport commissions attended the meeting in Little Rock.

Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., of Indiana and Kentucky, prepared the National Register nomination and presented it to the review board.

Eggleston said a listing on the NRHP would make the airport terminal eligible for more grants to pay for improvement and preservation projects.

Airport commissioners have also said a National Register listing would help with fundraising efforts for a terminal restoration/rehabilitation project.

The post WWII-era building was designed by late architect John Abbott, founder of CADM Architecture, Inc.

CADM prepared a master plan to renovate and restore the terminal building in 2015 and updated the plan a year ago, with a revised, preliminary budget estimate of $2.1 million.

The historic district commission is also moving forward with other projects.

Last week, commissioners signed off on a final proof for new downtown walking tour brochures, which list historical points of interest throughout Union Square.

The project is also being funded by a state grant.

Eggleston said 10,000 copies of the brochures will be printed, using soy ink, a requirement of the grant.

Commissioners updated the brochure with fresh photography and editorial content and included new downtown buildings and sites, such as the Murphy Arts District properties, that have been restored or added to downtown El Dorado since the last batch of brochures were printed years ago.

During a regular meeting on April 12, the group pored through a draft of the brochure and made several revisions.

Commissioners also amended the minutes from their March 8 regular meeting to clarify their decision on a Certificate of Appropriateness request regarding a public art display.

Lindsey Wilson, owner of Merle Norman, which recently relocated to 108 N. Washington, previously asked for the EHDC’s approval to set up an oil barrel that had been fashioned into a tube of lipstick.

The barrel was part of a years-old public art project in which oil barrels were forged into various designs, auctioned as part of a fundraiser and displayed downtown and in other areas around the city.

Wilson said told commissioners that she wanted to display the lipstick in front her new store, and she had plans to repaint it and freshen it up.

Linda Rathbun, EHDC chairman, said the minutes from the March meeting did not clearly state that commissioners’ approval came with the conditions that placement of the display is contingent upon the city’s OK or that the barrel be placed on private property.

Wilson and commissioners were eyeing the Mahony parking lot just north of the store.

In other business, the commission is looking to fill a vacancy.

Former Commissioner Jon Robbins retired from the EHDC this month after several years of service.

Doug Stanton, who was recently appointed to the commission to fill another vacant seat, participated in his first meeting as an EHDC member on April 12.

Anyone who is interested in serving on the commission may call City Clerk Heather McVay at 870-881-4877 to request an application.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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