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— By Bill Bowden

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will award 38 grants totalling about $2.5 million for preservation and restoration, according to a news release.

The projects include everything from restoration of a courthouse clock tower in Camden to roof repair on the historic home of prominent contractor and philanthropist John Lee Webb in Hot Springs.

Sixteen of the grants are for courthouse work. The other 22 are for restoration and preservation of other historic resources.

The County Courthouse Restoration Grant, which has existed since 1988, is funded primarily by an annual grant by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council using real estate transfer tax funds, according to the release.

This year, $1,671,349 in courthouse grant funding was given out to 16 recipients.

The courthouse recipients, proposed projects and award amounts are:

• Arkansas County, Stuttgart, ADA ramp installation, $61,664.

• Bradley County, Warren, clock tower roof/cupola restoration, $85,000.

• Carroll County, Berryville, condition assessment report, $13,750.

• Chicot County, Lake Village, water drainage system exploration, $22,150.

• Clay County, Piggott, roof replacement, $222,660.

• Conway County, Morrilton, replace entry doors, $67,318.

• Dallas County, Fordyce, cornice repair, $80,250.

• Franklin County, Ozark, masonry pointing and repairs (parapet courses), $175,000.

• Hot Spring County, Malvern, 100% repoint masonry, $222,900.

• Lee County, Marianna, roof replacement, $108,000.

• Miller County, Texarkana, roof work, $216,653.

• Ouachita County, Camden, clock tower restoration, $90,500.

• Poinsett County, Harrisburg, masonry cornice repairs, $70,686.

• Polk County, Mena, HVAC and steel window restoration, $142,310.

• Prairie County, DeValls Bluff, roof replacement and soffit repairs, $60,113.

• Woodruff County, Augusta, repair lobby floor over abandoned staircase, $32,395.

The Historic Preservation and Restoration Grant program is also financed through proceeds of the real estate transfer tax.

This year, $796,460 in grant funding was given out to 22 applicants.

The largest of these grants was $78,251 to People Helping Others Excel By Example to continue masonry work and replace ancillary roofs on the John Lee Webb House in Hot Springs.

Cheryl Batts, chief executive officer of People Helping Others Excel By Example, said $400,000 has already been “leveraged” for restoration of the building, which will house an institute to help educate young people about the history of black people in Hot Springs. Batts said more money is needed to finish restoration of the house, which dates from the 1890s.

Originally from Tuskegee, Ala., Webb moved to Hot Springs and built the Woodmen of the Union Building, which was one of the most prestigious buildings in the South at the time, according to a Central Arkansas Library System Encyclopedia of Arkansas entry written by Batts. Work began on the building in 1923. It was finished by 1924 at a cost of $500,000. Webb died in 1946.

“The area Webb resided in and helped build, the Pleasant Street Historic District, is the largest African-American historic district in Arkansas,” according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. “It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.”

The other 21 Historic Preservation and Restoration Grant recipients, proposed projects and award amounts are:

• Conway County, Morrilton, Big Cuppa LLC, restore window — 205 E. Broadway, $8,950.

• Pulaski County, Little Rock, Jane E. Anderson plans to remove artificial siding and restore original siding so her house at 404 Louise St. will qualify for inclusion in the Hillcrest Historic District, $10,000.

• Clark County, Arkadelphia, City of Arkadelphia, replace tile roof – depot, $70,700.

• Prairie County, Hazen, City of Hazen, masonry pointing, wood repair and painting — Rock Island Depot, $44,897.

• Polk County, Mena, City of Mena, ADA restroom — Mena Depot, $13,487.

• Drew County, Monticello, City of Monticello, capstone repair and masonry pointing — Monticello Post Office, $63,317.

• Mississippi County, Osceola, City of Osceola, fire damage repairs — Old Post Office/City Hall, $22,000.

• White County, Searcy, City of Searcy, replace roof — American Legion Hut #106, $60,000.

• Washington County, Springdale, City of Springdale, replace roof and repair soffits — Rabbits Foot Lodge, $62,238

• Monroe County, Clarendon, Clarendon First United Methodist Church, roof and stained glass window repairs, $19,998.

• Nevada County, Emmet, Emmet United Methodist Church, roof replacement, $37,775.

• Carroll County, Eureka Springs, Eureka Springs Historical Museum, repair chimneys, roof & windows, selective masonry pointing, $14,836.

• Baxter County, Galatia, Galatia Community Building Inc., roof replacement and siding repairs, $32,200.

• Ashley County, Hamburg, Hamburg First United Methodist Church, reset limestone capstones and masonry pointing, $27,178.

• Carroll County, Eureka Springs, Heart of Many Ways, replace roof — former First Church of Christ Scientist, $20,000.

• Newton County, Jasper, Newton County, replace roof — former Newton County Jail, $26,667.

• Crawford County, Winslow, Ozark Folkways, exterior repairs and restoration — Muxen Building, $17,575.

• Logan County, Paris, Paris First United Methodist Church, restore entrance steps and preservation plan, $57,455.

• Sebastian County, Fort Smith, St. John’s Episcopal Church, restore stained glass window, $42,644.

• Independence County, Batesville, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, roof repair, $58,240.

• Nevada County, Moscow, Nevada County Depot & Museum, monument restoration — Moscow Cemetery, $8,052.

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