Jewel Bain House No. 2 gains National Register nomination

The Jewel Parnell Bain House No. 2, West 36th Avenue and Cherry Street, was among nine Arkansas properties nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s State Review Board on Thursday.

Also nominated was the L.A. Black Rice Milling Association Office at DeWitt. The Beard House near Rison was listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places.

The Bain House was constructed in 1937, during the Great Depression. Designed in the Art Monderne style of architecture, it is described as “boxy with stringcourse to emphasize its horizontal lines.”

Of steel construction, the house includes structural carrera glass. It’s believed that Bain was inspired in the design by magazines and homes featured in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.

Bain, who died in January 1996 at 91 and was a life-long Pine Bluff resident, designed four houses. She learned on her own how to draw floorplans and rough elevations, and then hired professional architects to draw the blueprints. The homes were built between 1924 and 1965 in various styles that also included Craftsman and Japanese.

In the nomination, Bain was cited as being “a member of a very select group of women in Arkansas involved in architectural design, and Bain may be the only woman designer to have buildings constructed.”

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency that identifies, evaluates, registers and preserves the state’s cultural resources.