Hillcrest (Little Rock)
Hillcrest is a historic neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is often referred to as the Hillcrest Historic District by the people that live there. It is the lower, southern section of Pulaski Heights neighborhood. Hillcrest is often thought of as the "heart of Little Rock", as it is located almost directly in the center of Little Rock and was arguably the first fully established suburb in Little Rock, and among the firsts of neighborhoods in Arkansas.
Hillcrest was established during the late 19th century in what was at the time, the outskirts of Little Rock. Little Rock's first streetcar system once extended into Hillcrest, with its entry into the neighborhood near the current intersection of Markham Street and Kavanaugh Boulevard in the Stifft's Station neighborhood of Little Rock. The streetcars, in time, aided in the growth and linking of Hillcrest and Pulaski Heights to Little Rock. Numerous houses were built of diverse architectural structures. However, only a few houses that were built in the 19th century are part of the district today. Most of what Hillcrest is today was built in the early part of the 20th century. Hillcrest started to establish itself as one of the key components of Little Rock.
The Hillcrest Historic District includes the former town hall building, and one of the oldest educational institutions in Arkansas — Mount St. Mary Academy — a girls' Catholic school. Hillcrest contains some of Little Rock's most historic construction in both commercial and residential areas.
Additionally, part of Hillcrest overlooks Allsopp Park, a major city park situated between Hillcrest on the south side and the corporate/design-oriented Riverdale neighborhood to its north. Hillcrest tends to be more politically liberal than other areas of the city, including the nearby Heights area. In 2006, Hillcrest voters formed the core of a majority in Arkansas' House District 37, electing Arkansas' first openly gay member of the state's House of Representatives.
Many of what make Hillcrest a historic district and famous neighborhood are the sought-after houses of diverse architectural styles. Ranging from Prairie to Queen Anne style, the houses were built from all different time periods to represent Hillcrest as a different type on suburb. The different types of houses contained in the historic district include:
- Queen Anne
- Colonial Revival
- Pyramid Cottages
- Craftsman Bungalow
- "Period Houses" - English Revival
- Modernistic Houses