Downtown tour draws praise at meeting

Pine Bluff Inspection and Zoning Department Director Robert Tucker described Saturday’s Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Walks Through History of the downtown area as “hot, sweaty and fun.”

Tucker — speaking at a Friday meeting of the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission — said the event was “successful” and attracted about 30 participants, several from out of town.

Commission Chairwoman Dee Herring said the tour had resulted in good publicity for the city. Tucker said some out-of-town media coverage may be forthcoming.

The tour was the first in which Pine Bluff was featured.

Tucker, who advises the commission, told the panel that its September meeting may be conducted at the recently rededicated Boone-Murphy House on West Fourth Avenue. The house, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was built around 1860 and served as a headquarters of the Union Army when it occupied the city.

Tucker said the city is providing chairs and a table large enough for eight people for the facility, which in addition to being billed as a Civil War historic site also will serve as the commission’s official headquarters.

The yard of the house includes a Civil War historic marker.

Tucker also announced that 40 large and 20 small historic district sign toppers have been ordered and are expected to be delivered and placed by late September

In the meeting’s business session, Herring and fellow commissioners Marlene Davis-Lilly, Darnell Hawkins, Dave Sadler and Harold Terry voted to approve revised signage outside the Festive Focus business at 313 West Barraque Street. The firm is owned by Frederick Jackson, who requested the endorsement.