Little Rock, Arkansas

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City of Little Rock, Arkansas
City
Clockwise from top: Little Rock skyline, William J. Clinton Presidential Library, War Memorial Stadium, the River Market District, and the Arkansas State Capitol
Clockwise from top: Little Rock skyline, William J. Clinton Presidential Library, War Memorial Stadium, the River Market District, and the Arkansas State Capitol
Flag of City of Little Rock, Arkansas
Flag
Official seal of City of Little Rock, Arkansas
Seal
Nickname(s): The Rock, Rock Town, LR
Location in Pulaski County, Arkansas
Location in Pulaski County, Arkansas
Coordinates: 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111Coordinates: 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111
Country United States
State Arkansas
County Pulaski
Founded 1821
Incorporated 1831
Government
 • Type Council-Strong Mayor
 • Mayor Mark Stodola
Area
 • City 116.8 sq mi (302.5 km2)
 • Land 116.2 sq mi (300.9 km2)
 • Metro 4,090.34 sq mi (10,593.94 km2)
Elevation 335 ft (102 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • City 193,524
 • Estimate (2013[2]) 197,357
 • Rank US: 118th
 • Urban 431,388 (US: 88th)
 • Metro 724,385 (US: 75th)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 72201-19
72221-23/25/27/31/60/95
Area code(s) 501
FIPS code 05-41000
GNIS feature ID 0083350
Website www.littlerock.org

Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the State of Arkansas. The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a population of 724,385 people in the 2013 census estimate. The MSA is included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 898,683 in the 2013 census estimate. As of the 2010 census, Little Rock had a city proper population of 193,524.[3][1] It is the county seat of Pulaski County.

Located near the geographic center of Arkansas, Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called la Petite Roche (French: "the little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The "little rock" is across the river from "big rock," a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry.

There have been two ships of the United States Navy named after the city, including USS Little Rock.[4]

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Archeological artifacts provide evidence of Native Americans inhabiting Central Arkansas for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. The early inhabitants may have included the Folsom people, Bluff Dwellers, and Mississippian culture peoples who built earthwork mounds recorded in 1541 by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Historical tribes of the area included the Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Choctaw, and Cherokee.

Little Rock was named for a stone outcropping on the bank of the Arkansas River used by early travelers as a landmark.[5] La Petite Roche (French for "the Little Rock"), named in 1721 by French explorer and trader Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe, marked the transition from the flat Mississippi Delta region to the Ouachita Mountain foothills. Travelers referred to the area as "the Little Rock," and the landmark name stuck.

The skyline of Little Rock, viewed from the north bank of the Arkansas River

Timeline[edit]

Geography[edit]

Little Rock is located at 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111 (34.736009, −92.331122).[6]

Astronaut photograph of Little Rock, Arkansas taken from the International Space Station (ISS)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 116.8 square miles (303 km2), of which, 116.2 square miles (301 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (0.52%) is water.

Little Rock is located on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Central Arkansas. Fourche Creek and Rock Creek run through the city, and flow into the river. The western part of the city is located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Just northwest of the city limits are Pinnacle Mountain and Lake Maumelle, which provides Little Rock's drinking water.

The city of North Little Rock is located just across the river from Little Rock, but it is a separate city. North Little Rock was once the 8th ward of Little Rock. An Arkansas Supreme Court decision on February 6, 1904, allowed the ward to merge with the neighboring town of North Little Rock. The merged town quickly renamed itself Argenta (the local name for the former 8th Ward), but returned to its original name in October 1917.[7]

Climate[edit]

Little Rock lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with hot, humid summers and mild winters, with usually little snow. It has experienced temperatures as low as −12 °F (−24 °C), which was recorded on February 12, 1899, and as high as 114 °F (46 °C), which was recorded on August 3, 2011.[8]

Meteorological Data for the Little Rock Greater Metropolitan Area
Temperature averages for each month.
Rainfall averages for each month.
Humidity indices for each month.
Wind speeds during the various months.
Snowfall averages for each month.
Average percentage of sun during the day.

Neighborhoods[edit]

Inside Little Rock's city limits, there are numerous different neighborhoods. They are Apple Gate, Birchwood, Breckenridge, Broadmoor, Brodie Creek, Candlewood, Capitol View, Capitol View/Stifft's Station, Chenal Ridge, Cloverdale, Colony West, Downtown, East End, Echo Valley, Fair Park, Geyer Springs, Gibraltar Heights, Granite Mountain, Gum Springs, Hall High, The Heights, Highland Park, Hillcrest, John Barrow, Leawood, Mabelvale, Mushroom Pass, Oak Forest, Otter Creek, Parkway Place, Pleasant Valley, Quapaw Quarter, River Mountain, River Ridge, Riverdale, Robinwood, Rock Creek, Rosedale, St. Charles, Santa Fe Heights, South End, South Little Rock, Southwest Little Rock, Stagecoach, Sturbridge, the Villages of Wellington, Wakefield, West End and Woodland Edge.

Capitol View/Stifft's Station[edit]

Capitol View/Stifft's Station is a neighborhood in Little Rock, located in the west central portion of the city encompassing approximately 1500 homes. Roughly, its boundaries include the area south of West Markham, north of Interstate 630, east of Pine, and west of Summit, as well as south of Riverview between Park and Summit. Capitol View/Stifft's Station is just west of Downtown, north of the Central High School Historic District, Southeast of Pulaski Heights and uses the 72205 ZIP code. The Capitol View/Stifft's Station neighborhood is the result of Little Rock's early 20th century westward growth. Located west of the Arkansas State Capitol, Capitol View and Stifft's Station were the combined result of numerous additions to, what was at the time, western Little Rock.

The architecture of the neighborhood is predominantly Craftsman, Craftsman Bungalow, and Bungalow with modest Tudor or Colonial Revival detailing. One may also find Shotgun Houses, Queen Anne or American Foursquare-styled homes, as well as various period revival influences including Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture. The dominance of these styles in the neighborhood reflects its principal growth period of 1920 to 1929, with roughly 40% of building stock constructed within this decade. Combined with construction undertaken in the 1930s, this period accounts for the majority of housing stock built within the neighborhood. Although construction of Interstate 630 in the 1970s dramatically altered the southern edges of the area, the neighborhood is largely intact and much of the original housing stock remains.

There are architecturally and historically significant structures and sites which merit preservation and protection within the area. Two structures in the area are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the T.R. McGuire House and Lamar Porter Field. The neighborhood also contains two historic districts, The Capitol View Historic District and the Stifft Station Historic District. As of 1996, approximately two percent of the City of Little Rock's residents called the Capitol View/Stifft's Station area home. The racial distribution within the neighborhood is similar to that of the city: approximately 34 percent black and just under 65 percent white. However, also like the city, the neighborhood is subdivided geographically into different socio-economic zones. An example of this stratification is that almost 52 percent of the households in the area are classified as low and moderate income; however, the westernmost quarter of the neighborhood is over 61 percent low and moderate income, while 60 percent of the "Johnson – Woodrow area" households are higher income.

Over 53 percent of the Capitol View/Stifft's Station area households were at an income level, in 1990, between $10,000 and $30,000.[4] This compares to 38.1 percent of the households in Little Rock while, at the upper end, only 9.6 percent of households in the area had incomes over $50,000. The citywide percent of households with incomes over $50,000 was 22.2 percent in 1990.

The population profile of the neighborhood, in 1996, showed an area more middle-aged than that of Little Rock (residents aged over 65 and less than 18 both represented a lesser percentage than that of the overall city population). In addition, the female population is slightly larger in the area than citywide (54.4 to 53.6 percent). Single parent households also account for a greater percentage of neighborhood households than citywide. All of the increases in single parent households come from female headed households. For the city, 11.4% of households are single parent homes.Family and household sizes are generally smaller in Capitol View/Stifft's Station than compared with the rest of the city. This is due in part to the high percentage of one person households (41.8 percent compared to 32 percent city wide). The neighborhood is overwhelmingly single family at over 63 percent.

The Central Arkansas Transit Authority provides bus service in and through the neighborhood. One Downtown to West Little Rock route travels Markham Street to Kavanaugh Boulevard providing residents access to both Downtown and the Rodney Parham Road area. Bus routes along 7th Street and Capitol Avenue provide access to the West Markham Street area and the Otter Creek Neighborhood. The bus system is radial, downtown to the outskirts and back, much like the spokes of a wheel. Therefore, to go east, north, or south, the rider must first go downtown and transfer. The Capitol View/Stifft's Station neighborhood has a service level as good as any residential area in metropolitan Little Rock.

Capitol View/Stifft's Station has no fire stations, either historic or modern, within its boundaries. One surmises that this area’s fire protection needs were served, initially, by either Fire Station #3, which was opened at 3515 12th in 1911, or Fire Station #7, in operation by 1916 at Beechwood and Prospect (now Kavanaugh).

East Little Rock[edit]

Predominantly industrial in development, East Little Rock generally refers to most portions of Little Rock located east of Interstate 30. The low-lying easternmost end of Arkansas' capital city is marked by distribution facilities and warehouses, Clinton National Airport and its environs, the Port of Little Rock, and various manufacturers. A small amount of residential areas can also be found dispersed throughout East Little Rock, progressing towards census-designated places including College Station and Sweet Home. Industrial use of this area started as early as 1917, when the US government contracted with a chemical company to produce picric acid to sell to the French government for weapons. Labor was brought in from other states and Puerto Rico.[13]

Physically and economically, East Little Rock often contrasts sharply with the newest, westernmost neighborhoods of Little Rock. The two parts of the city are linked via Interstate 630, which has its first west-bound access near East 15th Street.

Part of East Little Rock has received tremendous attention since the late 2004 opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park near the banks of the Arkansas River. Development and subsequent opening of the facility and its adjoining Clinton School of Public Service, affiliated with the University of Arkansas, has served as a catalyst in plans to further improve its immediate area along the riverfront and downtown's River Market District. The next major addition for East Little Rock, the new headquarters of Heifer International adjacent to the Clinton library campus, opened on January 30, 2006.

Mabelvale[edit]

Mabelvale was a small, unincorporated train station town in southwestern Pulaski County until being annexed into Little Rock in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The area today is part of Little Rock's seventh ward, while retaining a separate postal designation and ZIP code from most of the rest of the city. The neighborhood is currently represented on Little Rock's City Board of Directors by Brenda "B.J." Wyrick. The neighborhood is generally defined as the homes and businesses in the immediate area surrounding the intersection of Mabelvale Main Street and the Union Pacific railroad line. Its location on the south-central fringe of Little Rock proper — as well as proximity to unincorporated communities, neighborhoods in Southwest Little Rock and adjoining towns such as Shannon Hills which share the ZIP code — often leads to varying definitions of Mabelvale's boundaries.

The Heights and Hillcrest[edit]

The Heights and Hillcrest are neighborhoods in the north-central portion of Little Rock. Although distinct today, they were once part of the same Little Rock suburb called Pulaski Heights. Pulaski Heights first developed in the 1890s, was incorporated in 1903, and was annexed by Little Rock in 1916.

Today, The Heights is an upper-middle-income residential neighborhood. It is marked by boutiques and restaurants along Kavanaugh Boulevard, St. John's Seminary, and the Country Club of Little Rock. Hillcrest likewise centers around a section of Kavanaugh Boulevard. It is sometimes described as the "funkier" cousin of The Heights. Its landmarks include Mount St. Mary Academy, Allsopp Park, several major churches, and restaurants and bars.

Chenal Valley[edit]

A sizable and more recently developed section of the city, Chenal Valley is in the west-central section of Little Rock, known as West Little Rock. Its name is derived from the area's Shinall Mountain, but Deltic Timber Corporation, a major early developer of the area, opted to alter the name to mimic French language as part of a strategy (known as foreign branding) to orient the residential and commercial development toward upper-class population segments. Chenal Valley is one of the more expensive residential areas in Little Rock with typical homes in the $200,000 to $2,000,000 price range.

The main thoroughfare is Chenal Parkway, mostly a divided four-lane path chiefly connecting Highway 10 to west Little Rock's Financial Centre business district. Chenal Parkway's northwestern terminus is just north of Highway 10 at Highway 300, near the Pinnacle Valley neighborhood. The southeastern terminus lies at Autumn Road at a transition to Financial Centre Parkway, with continuation to a conversion into Interstate 630 at Shackleford Road.

Chenal Valley is known for its rapid development since 1990, when Chenal Country Club was established and some of the earliest of the area's current crop of homes were built. Those and other residences, including a limited number of apartment and condominium complexes, can be found scattered throughout a part of Little Rock that has for now retained much of its pre-development wooded areas.

Several mass-market retailers populate Chenal's eastern commercial corridor near the Financial Centre area, including industry leaders Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, Home Depot and Barnes & Noble. Chenal is also home to the headquarters of the Nuvell unit of GMAC Financial Services, an important employer for the city overall.

Quapaw Quarter[edit]

The Quapaw Quarter of Little Rock is a section of the city including its oldest and most historic business and residential neighborhoods. The name of the area was first given in 1961, honoring the Quapaw Indians who once lived in the area centuries ago.

As many as fifteen separate National Historic Register Districts make up the Quapaw Quarter, including more than 200 separate homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Trapnall Hall, situated along East Capitol Avenue, was among the first of the homes built in 1843 as the home of early state legislator Frederic Trapnall and his wife, Martha. Structures housing businesses on Main Street and Broadway south of Interstate 630 are among this group as well.

Throughout the Quapaw Quarter, many small and large homes from the Antebellum and Victorian eras can be found, in addition to several examples of Craftsman-style architecture. Scott, Center and Spring streets, in particular, are where many such homes stand today. The exterior of the Villa Marre, one such home, was known nationally as the outside of the home containing the office of Sugarbaker Designs, the fictional Atlanta-based interior design firm on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. The actual home is located along Little Rock's Scott Street, and has been a former home for the office of the Quapaw Quarter Association, the chief organization that sponsors historic preservation efforts in the area.

Governor's Mansion District[edit]

Along with the Villa Marre, the exterior of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion was also featured on Designing Women, shown as the home of Suzanne Sugarbaker. The mansion and its grounds comprise a city block, dividing Center Street in its 1800-numbered block, and anchor the city's Governor's Mansion Historic District, encompassing many homes and businesses along and around lower Broadway. The first official residence of Arkansas's governors opened on January 10, 1950, to a week-long open house for all Arkansans. The Georgian Colonial Revival home was renovated and expanded from 2000 through 2002, reopening for the inauguration of Mike Huckabee's second full term as governor in early 2003.

The MacArthur Park Historic District, dedicated in 1981, adjoins the city's MacArthur Park along East 9th Street, including the Arkansas Arts Center and the circa-1840 Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal. This building in the district contains the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur, a foremost commander of American forces in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

South Main Residential Historic District[edit]

The South Main Residential Historic District — nicknamed SoMa by some area locals — was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 according to the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The district which runs along South Main Street between 12th and 24th streets is notable for its assortment of quality late-nineteenth and early twentieth century residential architecture, including specifically the Queen Anne, Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles.

Government[edit]

The city has operated under the city manager form of government since November 1957. In 1993, voters approved changes from seven at-large city directors (who rated the position of mayor among themselves) to a popularly elected mayor, seven ward directors and three at-large directors. The position of mayor remained a part-time position until August 2007. At that point, voters approved making the mayor's position a full-time position with veto power. The current Mayor is Mark Stodola, a former Little Rock City Attorney and prosecuting attorney. The current City Manager is Bruce T. Moore, who is the longest-serving City Manager in Little Rock history. The city employs over 2,500 individuals in 14 different departments, including the Police Department, the Fire Department, Parks and Recreation, and the Zoo.

Most Pulaski County government offices are located in the city of Little Rock, including the Quorum, Circuit, District, and Juvenile Courts; and the Assessor, County Judge, County Attorney, and Public Defenders offices.

Both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit have judicial facilities in Little Rock. The city is served by the Little Rock Police Department.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,167
1860 3,727 72.0%
1870 12,380 232.2%
1880 13,138 6.1%
1890 25,874 96.9%
1900 38,307 48.1%
1910 45,941 19.9%
1920 65,142 41.8%
1930 81,679 25.4%
1940 88,039 7.8%
1950 102,213 16.1%
1960 107,813 5.5%
1970 132,483 22.9%
1980 159,151 20.1%
1990 175,795 10.5%
2000 183,133 4.2%
2010 193,524 5.7%
Est. 2013 197,357 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2013 Estimate[2]

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 52.7% of Little Rock's population; of which 49.4% were non-Hispanic whites, down from 74.1% in 1970.[15] Blacks or African Americans made up 42.1% of Little Rock's population; of which 42.0% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.4% of Little Rock's population while Asian Americans made up 2.1% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.4% of the city's population; of which 1.1% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.7% of Little Rock's population.

As of the 2010 census, there were 193,524 people, 77,352 households, and 46,488 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,576.0 people per square mile (608.5/km²). There were 84,793 housing units at an average density of 729.7 per square mile (281.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.9% White, 42.3% Black, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population is Hispanic or Latino.

There were 77,352 households, out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,572, and the median income for a family was $47,446. Males had a median income of $35,689 versus $26,802 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,209. 14.3% of the population is below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.9% of those under the age of 18 and 9.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Metropolitan statistical area[edit]

The 2013 U.S. Census population estimate for the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area was 724,385. The MSA includes the following counties: Pulaski, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, and Saline. The largest cities include Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Jacksonville, Benton, Sherwood, Cabot, Maumelle, and Bryant.

The 2013 U.S. Census population estimate for the Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area was 898,683

Metropolitan Area, Combined Area population[edit]

Year Metropolitan
Area
Combined
Area
2013 est. 724,385 898,683
2010 699,757 877,091
2000 610,518 785,024
1990 535,034
1980 494,738 657,548
1970 396,462
1960 334,011 469,520
1950 288,070 428,220

Economy and business[edit]

Downtown Little Rock

Major corporations headquartered in Little Rock include Dillard's Department Stores, Windstream Communications and Acxiom.

Additional large companies headquartered in Little Rock include Metropolitan National Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Rose Law Firm, Nuvell Financial Services, Central Flying Service and large brokerage Stephens Inc.

Large companies headquartered in other cities but with a large presence in Little Rock include Dassault Falcon Jet near Little Rock National Airport in the eastern part of the city, and Fidelity National Information Services in northwestern Little Rock.

Despite its size, Little Rock and its surroundings are the headquarters for some of the largest and most recognizable non-profit organizations in the world, including Winrock International, Heifer International, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Clinton Foundation, Lions World Services for the Blind, Clinton Presidential Center, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, FamilyLife, Audubon Arkansas, and The Nature Conservancy.

Associations include the American Taekwondo Association, Arkansas Hospital Association, and the Quapaw Quarter Association.

Major employers throughout Little Rock include Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Baptist Health Medical Center, Entergy, Dassault Falcon Jet, Siemens, AT&T Mobility, Kroger, Euronet Worldwide, L'Oréal Paris, Timex, and UAMS.

One of the largest public employers in the state with over 10,552 employees, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its healthcare partners — Arkansas Children's Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System—have a total economic impact in Arkansas of about $5 billion per year. UAMS receives less than 11% of its funding from the state. Its operation is funded by payments for clinical services (64%), grants and contracts (18%), philanthropy and other (5%), and tuition and fees (2%).

The Little Rock port is an intermodal river port with a large industrial business complex. It is designated as Foreign Trade Zone 14. International corporations such as Danish manufacturer LM Glasfiber have established new facilities adjacent to the port in recent years.

Along with Louisville and Memphis, Little Rock has a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.[16]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Little Rock was named 22nd out of 361 metropolitan areas as best places for business in 2005 by Forbes magazine.

Moody's Investor Services ranks Little Rock as the second most diverse economy in the nation.

The Brookings Institution ranks Little Rock as the 7th best metropolitan economy in the United States in 2009 with the second best overall growth from 2008 to 2009 after Des Moines.

Little Rock was named the 2nd cleanest city in America in 2011 by Forbes magazine.[17]

Kiplinger names Little Rock as the #1 place to live among metropolitan areas under one million people in July 2013.

Outside magazine named Little Rock one of its 2013 Best Towns.

Museums[edit]

William J. Clinton Presidential Library, in downtown Little Rock
  • The Arkansas Arts Center, the state's largest cultural institution, is a museum of art and an active center for the visual and performing arts.
  • The Museum of Discovery features hands-on exhibits in the fields of science, history and technology.
  • The William J. Clinton Presidential Center includes the Clinton presidential library and the offices of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service. The Library facility, designed by architect James Polshek, cantilevers over the Arkansas River, echoing Clinton's famous campaign promise of "building a bridge to the 21st century. The archives and library contains 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 21 million e-mail messages, and nearly 80,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency. The museum within the library showcases artifacts from Clinton's term and includes a full-scale replica of the Clinton-era Oval Office. Opened on November 18, 2004, the Clinton Presidential Center cost $165 million to construct and covers 150,000 square feet (14,000 m²) within a 28 acre (113,000 m²) park.
  • The Historic Arkansas Museum is a regional history museum focusing primarily on the frontier time period.
  • The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opened in 2001, the last remaining structure of the original Little Rock Arsenal and one of the oldest buildings in central Arkansas, it was also the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur who would go on to be the supreme commander of US forces in the South Pacific during World War II.
  • The Old State House Museum is a former state capitol building now home to a history museum focusing on Arkansas' recent history.
  • The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is a state operated history museum focusing on African American history and culture in Arkansas.

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The city has two major universities that are part of the University of Arkansas System. The campuses of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are located within Little Rock. The city also is home to a pair of smaller, historically black colleges, Philander Smith College, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and Arkansas Baptist College.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was founded in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College, under the supervision of the city Board of Education. The first semester open, there were eight instructors and about 100 students. The college is currently accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a status it has kept since 1929. Housed originally in public school buildings, the college moved in 1949 to its present location between University Ave and Fair Park Blvd, North of Asher Ave., on land donated by Raymond Rebsamen, a Little Rock businessman. The college was also the sole beneficiary of a continuing trust established by former Governor George W. Donaghey at the time. In 1957, the institution began a four-year degree program, became independent and privately supported under a separate board of trustees, and took the name Little Rock University.

In September 1969, The Little Rock University merged into the University of Arkansas System, to create the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The University of Arkansas System merger began a period of steady growth, which saw UALR go from about 3,500 students and 75 full-time faculty members in 1969 to about 10,000 students and over 400 full-time faculty members in the 1998 academic year. The University's expanded offerings now include 54 undergraduate major programs, an extensive schedule of night, weekend, and off-campus classes, and a wide range of community educational services. UALR began offering graduate and professional work in 1975. Besides the juris doctor offered at the William H. Bowen School of Law, UALR now has three doctoral programs and 29 graduate and professional programs, as well as joint programs with other campuses of the University of Arkansas System.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is part of the University of Arkansas System. UAMS has about 2,200 students in six academic units: the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health Related Professions, and Public Health and the Graduate School. UAMS also has more than 660 resident physicians completing their training at UAMS or at one of the seven Area Health Education Centers around the state. UAMS combines the patient care resources of a state-of-the art hospital and outpatient center with the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute. Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System are affiliates of UAMS.

The outreach efforts of UAMS include seven Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Texarkana, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Helena, Arkansas; networks of senior health centers and centers for young children with special health care needs; and interactive video education and medical consultation services to community hospitals around the state. UAMS is the state’s largest basic and applied research institution with internationally renowned programs in multiple melanoma, aging, and other areas.

Located in downtown is the specialized Clinton School of Public Service, a branch of the University of Arkansas System, which offers a master's degree in public service.

Pulaski Technical College has two locations in Little Rock. The Pulaski Technical College Little Rock-South site is located at 13000 Interstate 30 in the former Little Rock Expo building near the Pulaski and Saline County line.

Almost half of the building’s 159,000 square feet houses the Pulaski Technical College Transportation Technology Center programs in automotive technology, collision repair technology, commercial driver training, diesel technology, small engine repair technology and motorcycle/all-terrain vehicle repair technology.

Little Rock-South also houses the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School and its The Finish Line Cafe, which is operated by culinary school staff, culinary arts instructors and students. Breakfast and lunch are offered weekdays.

Pulaski Tech offers a variety of general and developmental education courses at its Little Rock-South location. In addition, students have access to services they enjoy at the main campus—a library, computer labs, tutoring services, student services, all housed in an attractive new location with cutting-edge technology.

At the Little Rock-West location, the college offers both day and evening courses in areas such as business, English, fine arts, health sciences, history, mathematics, social sciences and developmental education.

Several full-time faculty, a student services representative and several adjunct faculty members are housed at the site. Tutoring services and an open computer lab are available at Little Rock-West. In addition, the location houses the Pulaski Technical College Office of Governmental Relations and the Career Pathways program.

There is a Missonary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock associated with the American Baptist Association. The school began as Missionary Baptist College in Sheridan in Grant County.

Secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

President Bill Clinton led celebrations of the 40th anniversary of desegregation at Little Rock Central High School.

Little Rock is home to both the Arkansas School for the Blind (ASB) and the Arkansas School for the Deaf (ASD), which are state-run schools operated by the Board of Trustees of the ASB–ASD. In addition, eStem Public Charter High School and LISA Academy provide tuition-free public education as charter schools.

The city's comprehensive public school system is operated by the Little Rock School District (LRSD). As of 2012, the district includes 64 schools with more schools being built. As of the 2009–2010 school year, the district has enrollment of 25,685. It has 5 high schools, 8 middle schools, 31 elementary schools, 1 early childhood (pre-kindergarten) center, 2 alternative schools, 1 adult education center, 1 accelerated learning center, 1 career-technical center, and about 3,800 employees.

LRSD public high schools include:

The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) serves parts of Little Rock as well. PCSSD high schools in the city include:

Private schools[edit]

The city is home to a variety of private schools, including:

Public libraries[edit]

The Central Arkansas Library System includes the main building downtown and numerous branches throughout the city as well as branches in Jacksonville, Maumelle, Perryville, and Sherwood. The Pulaski County Law Library is located at the William H. Bowen School of Law.

Medical[edit]

Hospitals in Little Rock include:

  • Arkansas State Hospital – Psychiatric Division
  • Arkansas Children's Hospital
  • Arkansas Heart Hospital
  • Baptist Health Medical Center
  • Central Arkansas Veteran's Health care System (CAVHS)
  • Pinnacle Pointe Hospital
  • St. Vincent Health System
  • UAMS Medical Center

Cultural[edit]

  • Arkansas Arboretum – Located at Pinnacle Mountain, it has an interpretive trail with flora and tree plantings.
  • Arkansas Arts Center – The state's largest art museum, notable for its drawings, collections and children's theater productions. It features works by Van Gogh and Rembrandt among others. The museum has eight art galleries, a museum school, gift shop and restaurant.
  • Community Theatre of Little Rock – Founded in 1956, it is the area's oldest performance art company.
  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre – The state's largest professional, not-for-profit theatre company, currently in its 34th season. "The Rep" produces works that range from contemporary comedies and dramas to world premiers and the classics of dramatic literature.
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra[18] – In its 41st season, the orchestra performs over 30 concerts a year and many special events.
  • Ballet Arkansas – The state's only professional ballet company.
  • Heifer International – Headquarters of the global hunger and poverty relief organization, located adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center
  • Quapaw Quarter – Start of the 20th century Little Rock includes three National Register historic districts with over a hundred buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available showing the many Victorian and Antebellum homes.
  • Robinson Center Music Hall – The main performance center of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Villa Marre – An 1881 home of Italianate and Second Empire styles refurbished in the 1960s and shown in the opening scenes of the television show "Designing Women."
  • Wildwood Park for the Arts – The largest park dedicated to the performing arts in the South. It features seasonal festivals and cultural events.

Notable places[edit]

Sports[edit]

Club League Venue Established Championships
Arkansas Travelers Texas League Dickey-Stephens Park 1895 9
Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans NCAASun Belt Conference Jack Stephens Center and Gary Hogan Field 1927 3

Little Rock is home to the Arkansas Travelers. They are the AA professional Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the Texas League. The Travelers played their last game in Little Rock at Ray Winder Field on September 3, 2006, and moved into Dickey-Stephens Park in nearby North Little Rock in April 2007.

Little Rock was also home to the Arkansas Twisters (later Arkansas Diamonds of Arena Football 2 and Indoor Football League) and the Arkansas RimRockers of the American Basketball Association and NBA Development League. Both of these teams played at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Little Rock is home to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans. The majority of the schools athletic teams are housed in the new state-of-the-art Jack Stephens Center. The Trojans play in the Sun Belt conference, where Arkansas State University is their chief rival.

Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium plays host to at least two University of Arkansas Razorback football games each year. The stadium is known for being in the middle of a golf course. Each fall, the city closes the golf course on Razorback football weekends for fans to tailgate. It is estimated that over 80,000 people are present for the tailgating actitivities on these weekends. War Memorial also hosts the Arkansas High School football state championships, and starting in the fall of 2006 hosts one game apiece for the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Arkansas State University also plays at the stadium from time to time.

Little Rock was a host of the First and Second Rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It has also been a host of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament.

The now defunct Arkansas RiverBlades and Arkansas GlacierCats, both minor-league hockey teams, were located in the Little Rock area. The GlacierCats of the now defunct Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) played in Little Rock at Barton Coliseum while the RiverBlades of the ECHL played at the Verizon Arena.

Hubert "Geese" Ausbie played basketball at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where he earned All-Conference and All-American honors. He later gained fame as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

John Kocinski, 250 cc and World Superbike motorcycle racing champion, is from Little Rock.

World Champion Middleweight Boxer Jermain Taylor and NBA players Derek Fisher and Joe Johnson were born and/or have roots in Little Rock.

Little Rock is home to the Grande Maumelle Sailing Club. Established in 1959, Grande Maumelle Sailing Club hosts multiple regattas during the year on both Lake Maumelle and the Arkansas River.

Transportation[edit]

Road[edit]

I-30 terminates at I-40 in North Little Rock

Little Rock is served by two primary Interstate Highways and four auxiliary Interstates. I-40 passes through North Little Rock to the north, and I-30 enters the city from the south, terminating at I-40 in the north of the Arkansas River. Shorter routes designed to accommodate the flow of urban traffic across town include I-430, which bypasses the city to the west, I-440, which serves the eastern part of Little Rock including Clinton National Airport, and I-630 which runs east-west through the city, connecting west Little Rock with the central business district. I-530 runs southeast to Pine Bluff as a spur route.[20]

US 70 parallels I-40 into North Little Rock before multiplexing with I-30 at the Broadway exit (Exit 141B). US 67 and US 167 share the same route from the northeast before splitting. US 67 and US 70 multiplex with Interstate 30 to the southwest. US 167 multiplexes with US 65 and I-530 to the southeast.

Air[edit]

Nine airlines serve 18 national/international gateway cities, e.g. Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, etc. from Clinton National Airport. In 2006 they carried approximately 2.1 million passengers on approximately 116 daily flights to and from Little Rock.

Bus[edit]

Greyhound Lines serves Dallas and Memphis, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. Jefferson Lines serves Fort Smith, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City, as well as intermediate points, with numerous connections to other cities and towns. These carriers operate out of the North Little Rock bus station.

Rail[edit]

Amtrak serves the city twice daily via the Texas Eagle, with northbound service to Chicago and southbound service to San Antonio, as well as numerous intermediate points. Through service to Los Angeles and intermediate points operates three times a week. The train carries coaches, a sleeping car, a dining car, and a Sightseer Lounge car. Reservations are required.

Public transport[edit]

Within the city, public bus service is provided by the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA). As of January 2010, CATA operates 23 regular fixed routes, 3 express routes, as well as special events shuttle buses and paratransit service for disabled persons. Of the 23 fixed route services, 16 offer daily service, 6 offer weekday service with limited service on Saturday, and one route runs exclusively on weekdays. The three express routes run on weekday mornings and afternoons. Since November 2004, downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock have been additionally served by the River Rail Electric Streetcar system, also operated by CATA. The River Rail Streetcar is a 3.5 mile long heritage streetcar system that runs from the North Little Rock City Hall and throughout downtown Little Rock before crossing over to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The streetcar contains fourteen stops and has a rolling stock of five cars with a daily ridership of around 350.

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is the largest newspaper in the city, as well as the state. As of March 31, 2006, Sunday circulation is 275,991 copies, while daily (Monday-Saturday) circulation is 180,662, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Daily legal and real estate news is also provided Monday through Friday in the Daily Record. Healthcare news covered by Healthcare Journal of Little Rock. Entertainment and political coverage is provided weekly in Arkansas Times and monthly in the Little Rock Free Press. Business and economics news is published weekly in Arkansas Business.

In addition to area newspapers, the Little Rock market is served by a variety of magazines covering diverse interests. The publications include:

Television[edit]

All major television networks have local affiliates in Little Rock, in addition to numerous independent stations. As for cable TVservices, Comcast has a monopoly over Little Rock and the majority of Pulaski County. Some suburbs have the option of having Comcast, Charter or other cable companies.

Television stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Number Network
KETS/AETN 2 PBS
KARK 4 NBC
KATV 7 ABC
KATV-DT2 7.2 RTN
KATV-DT3 7.3 Live Well Network
KTHV 11 CBS
KTHV-DT2 11.2 WeatherNation
KLRT 16 Fox
KVTN 25 VTN: Your Arkansas Christian Connection
KASN 38 The CW
KASN-DT2 38.2 The Country Network
KKAP 36 Daystar
KARZ 42 MyNetworkTV
KARZ-DT2 42.2 Bounce TV

Theatre[edit]

Founded in 1976, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the state's largest nonprofit professional theatre company. A member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT D), The Rep has produced more than 300 productions, including 40 world premieres, in its historic building located in downtown Little Rock. Producing Artistic Director, Robert Hupp leads a resident staff of designers, technicians and administrators in the creation of eight to ten productions for an annual audience in excess of 70,000 for MainStage productions, educational programming and touring. The Rep produces works that range from contemporary comedies and dramas to world premiers and the classics of dramatic literature.

Radio[edit]

AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Frequency Format
KETS 620 Top 40
KEWI 690 Variety
KMTL 760 Gospel
KLRT 850 Children's
KLRG 880 Gospel
KARN 920 Talk
WLR 950 Community radio
KJBN 1050 Religious
KAAY 1090 Christian
KCON 1230 Adult Contemporary
KPZK 1250 Urban/Hip Hop
KZTD 1350 Bright A/C-Talk
KDXE 1380 Total Sports
KTUV 1440 Gospel

FM radio stations in the Little Rock area include:

Call letters Frequency Format
KABF 88.3 Community radio
KUAR 89.1 News and info
KLRE-FM 90.5 Classical
KANX 91.1 Religious
KUCA 91.3 Classical
KIPR 92.3 Mainstream Urban
KASR 92.7 Sports
KKSP 93.3 Rock
KKPT 94.1 Classic Rock
KHKN 94.9 Adult Hits
KSSN 95.7 Country
KHTE-FM 96.5 News/Talk
KWLR 96.9 Religious
KURB 98.5 Adult Contemporary
KDIS-FM 99.5 Religious Talk
KDJE 100.3 Active Rock
KZTS 101.1 Mainstream Urban
KVLO 101.7 Gospel
KOKY 102.1 Urban Adult Contemporary
KPZK-FM 102.5 Gospel
KARN-FM 102.9 News and Talk
KABZ 103.7 Sports Talk
KMJX 105.1 Country
KOLL 106.3 Adult Contemporary
KHLR 106.7 Urban Adult Contemporary
KLAL 107.7 Top 40

Notable people[edit]

Music[edit]

[56]

Sister cities[edit]

Friendship cities[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official records for Little Rock began on 28 February 1875 at the State Capitol and maintained there until 30 April 1942. The next day, and until 7 August 1942, temperature and precipitation were recorded separately at two different locations in and around Little Rock, and the official climatology station has been Adams Field since 8 August 1942. For more information, see Threadex

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  3. ^ "Census shows overall state population up 9.1 percent". Arkansasonline.com. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  4. ^ "Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship Little Rock" DOD press release. 15 July 2011
  5. ^ "Colorful Names". Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Bradbury, Cary (2007-11-14). "North Little Rock (Pulaski County)". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  8. ^ "Climate Statistics for the Little Rock Area" (PDF). National Weather Service North Little Rock. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  9. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  10. ^ "Station Name: AR LITTLE ROCK AP ADAMS FLD". National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  11. ^ "NOAA". NOAA. 
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Little Rock, AR (72201)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  13. ^ Demirel, Evin. "Arkansas Mystery". Sync Magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Arkansas – Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Little Rock Branch | Regional Executive Robert Hopkins". St. Louis Fed. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  17. ^ Brennan, Morgan (March 8, 2011). "America's Least Toxic Cities". Forbes. 
  18. ^ "arkansassymphony.org". arkansassymphony.org. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  19. ^ Tugman, Lindsey (11 March 2014). "10 more unsolved Arkansas mysteries". KTHV. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (December 22, 2011). General Highway Map, Pulaski County, Arkansas (Map). 1:62500. Cartography by Planning and Research Department. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. http://www.arkansashighways.com/maps/Counties/County%20PDFs/PulaskiCounty.pdf. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
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  25. ^ "Roswell Beebe". The Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
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  28. ^ Scanlon, Jennifer (2009). Toff, Nancy, ed. Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-19-534205-5. 
  29. ^ "Wesley Clark". A+E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Bill Clinton". The Central Arkansas Library System -. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
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  32. ^ "Daniel Davis". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
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  34. ^ "Dani Evans". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "Derek Fisher". Pro-Basketball Reference . Com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  36. ^ "John Gould Fletcher". The Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  37. ^ "Gil Gerard". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  38. ^ "Chris Harris". Pro-Football Reference.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  39. ^ "Keith Jackson". Pro-Football Reference.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  40. ^ "Joe Johnson". Pro-Basketball Reference . Com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  41. ^ "E. Fay Jones". The Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "Jerry Jones". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  43. ^ "Jim Keet". Arkansas Business Limited Partnership. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  44. ^ "Amy Lee". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "David Levering Lewis". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  46. ^ "Lil' JJ". IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
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  48. ^ "Kevin McReynolds". BASEBALL REFERENCE. COM. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
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  53. ^ "Talk of the Town: Brave New World," New Yorker, Aug. 25, 2014, p. 19.
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  56. ^ "School Integration in Little Rock, Arkansas: Introduction". Watson.org. 1998-07-14. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  57. ^ "We're An American Band Lyrics – Grand Funk Railroad". Lyricsfreak.com. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  • Gailiano, Amanda. "Lets Get Historical – Early Arkansas." About.com Cities and Towns 19 April 2006. [1]
  • City-Data.com. "Average Climate in Little Rock, Arkansas." [2]
  • Central Arkansas Transit authority. Bus services

Further reading[edit]

  • Morgan, James. "Little Rock: The 2005 American Heritage Great American Place" American Heritage, October 2005.
  • Greater Little Rock: a contemporary portrait, Letha Mills, 1990
  • The Atlas of Arkansas, Richard M. Smith 1989
  • Cities in the U.S.; The South, Fourth Edition, Volume 1, Linda Schmittroth, 2001
  • Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970, John A. Kirk, 2002.
  • How We Lived: Little Rock as an American City, Frederick Hampton Roy, 1985

External links[edit]