Boone-Murphy house’s grand opening could be next month

The grand opening of the restored historic Boone-Murphy house at 714 West Fourth Avenue could come in February, the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission learned in a Friday meeting.

Robert Tucker, head of the city’s inspection and zoning department and a commission adviser, told the panel that renovations to the structure — which dates back to before 1860 — are nearly complete.

“It’s punch-list time,” he said, adding that once water connections are in place, the building “will be ready for meetings.”

The structure is being restored as a monument to the Civil War, during which it served as a Union Army headquarters.

A historical marker at the site includes sponsor recognition of the commission and Heckatoo Heritage Foundation, Jefferson County Civil War Sesquicentennial Collaborative, Pine Bluff Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission, Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

In other business, the historic district commission received an update on temporary preservation efforts at The Saenger Theatre, which has recently received protective roof and chimney work from Reynolds Construction Company. Additional tile work on the roof is being considered, reported Tucker, who said he’ll be applying for additional grants to help with the project.

Tucker said the historic district’s financial balance is $4,971.58, unchanged during the past month.

Commissioners were advised of training opportunities scheduled in March at Little Rock.