Little Rock, Arkansas
|City of Little Rock, Arkansas|
Clockwise from top: Little Rock skyline, William J. Clinton Presidential Library, War Memorial Stadium, the River Market District, and the Arkansas State Capitol
|Nickname(s): The Rock, Rock Town, LR|
Location in Pulaski County, Arkansas
|• Type||Council-Strong Mayor|
|• Mayor||Mark Stodola|
|• 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)|
|• Estimate (2013)||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)|
|GNIS feature ID||0083350|
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. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Neighborhoods
- 4 Government
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Metropolitan statistical area
- 7 Metropolitan Area, Combined Area population
- 8 Economy and business
- 9 Awards and recognition
- 10 Museums
- 11 Education
- 12 Medical
- 13 Cultural
- 14 Notable places
- 15 Sports
- 16 Transportation
- 17 Media
- 18 Notable people
- 19 Music
- 20 Sister cities
- 21 See also
- 22 Notes
- 23 References
- 24 Further reading
- 25 External links
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. 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.
Little Rock is located at (34.736009, −92.331122).
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.
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.
|Climate data for Little Rock (Little Rock Nat'l Airport), 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1875−present[a]|
|Record high °F (°C)||83
|Average high °F (°C)||50.5
|Average low °F (°C)||31.2
|Record low °F (°C)||−8
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.55
|Snowfall inches (cm)||1.6
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||8.9||9.1||9.8||9.4||11.1||8.7||8.2||6.4||7.3||8.2||8.9||9.7||105.7|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||0.6||0.6||0.3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||180.9||188.2||244.5||276.7||325.3||346.2||351.0||323.0||271.9||251.0||176.9||166.2||3,101.8|
|Percent possible sunshine||58||62||66||71||75||80||80||78||73||72||57||54||70|
|Source: NOAA (sun 1961−1990 at North Little Rock Airport), The Weather Channel|
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
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. 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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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
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 19th 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.
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.
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. 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 55.1% White, 40.4% 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
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
Economy and business
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.
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.
Awards and recognition
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.
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.
- 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.
Colleges and universities
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.
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[update], 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:
The city is home to a variety of private schools, including:
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.
Hospitals in Little Rock include:
- 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 – 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.
- American Taekwondo Association World Headquarters. The American Taekwondo Association [ATA] is based in Little Rock where it hosts the World Taekwondo Championships each summer. The ATA World Headquarters is also headquarters for all of the Songahm Taekwondo organizations including the American Taekwondo Association, the Songahm Taekwondo Federation and the World Traditional Taekwondo Union. These combined organizations have millions of members in the USA and worldwide.
- Arkansas River Trail
- Arkansas State Capitol – a neo-classical structure with many restored interior spaces, constructed from 1899 to 1915.
- Big Dam Bridge – The longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge in North America that has never been used by cars or trucks.
- Clinton Presidential Library
- Heifer International
- Little Rock Marathon
- Little Rock River Market District – Little Rock's most prominent entertainment district.
- Little Rock Zoo – Boasts over 725 animals and over 200 species.
- Pinnacle Mountain State Park
- Riverfront Park – a park located in downtown, hosts the annual Riverfest music festival, and is home to the La Petite Roche (the little rock).
- Willow Springs Water Park – one of the first water theme parks in the U.S. built in 1928.
- A poster traced back to the Cicada 3301 mystery was discovered in downtown Little Rock.
|Arkansas Travelers||Texas League||Dickey-Stephens Park||1895||9|
|Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans||NCAA–Sun Belt Conference||Jack Stephens Center and Gary Hogan Field||1927||3|
|Arkansas Rhinos||North American Football League||Mills High School||2000||1|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
|KATV-DT3||7.3||Live Well Network|
|KVTN||25||VTN: Your Arkansas Christian Connection|
|KASN-DT2||38.2||The Country Network|
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.
AM radio Stations in the Little Rock area include:
FM radio stations in the Little Rock area include:
|KUAR||89.1||News and info|
|KOKY||102.1||Urban Adult Contemporary|
|KARN-FM||102.9||News and Talk|
|KHLR||106.7||Urban Adult Contemporary|
- Catherine Tharp Altvater, artist and first woman to hold office in the American Watercolor Society; born in Little Rock
- Jamaal Anderson, defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL; former high school football star for Little Rock Parkview
- Reggie Arnold, running back for the Arkansas State Red Wolves football team
- Hubert "Geese" Ausbie (b. 1938), longtime player with the Harlem Globetrotters
- Roswell Beebe (1795–1856), early mayor, alderman, benefactor, and president of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad
- Shelby Brewer, top nuclear official in the Reagan Administration from 1981 to 1984.
- Frank Bonner (born 1942), actor and television director best known for playing sales manager Herb Tarlek on the classic TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati
- Helen Gurley Brown, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for 32 years; lived in Little Rock
- Wesley Clark (b. 1944), 2004 presidential contender and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Commander; born in Chicago under the name Wesley Kanne but a graduate of Hall High School in Little Rock
- Former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lived in Little Rock when Bill Clinton was Attorney General of Arkansas 1977–1979 and Governor of Arkansas 1979–1981; and also returning as Governor 1983–1993.
- Chelsea Clinton (b. 1980 in Little Rock), daughter of President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Daniel Davis, best known as Niles the Butler on the television program The Nanny
- Lynn A. Davis, attorney, lecturer, and head of the state police in 1967, who cleared Hot Springs of illegal gambling, was the U.S. marshal in Little Rock from 1969–1974
- Glen Day, PGA Tour golfer, winner of 1999 Heritage at Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Dani Evans (b. 1986, also known as Danielle Evans), fashion model and television personality; winner of Cycle 6 of America's Next Top Model
- Derek Fisher, professional basketball player, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, now playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA
- John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950), Pulitzer Prize-winning Imagist poet and author. He was born in Little Rock to a socially prominent family. Fletcher suffered from depression and committed suicide by drowning in a pond near his home in Little Rock. Fletcher is buried at historic Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock. The Fletcher Branch Library of the Central Arkansas Library System is named in his honor.
- Gil Gerard (born 1943), most famous for his role as Captain William "Buck" Rogers in the 1979–1981 television series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
- Connie Hamzy, one of the most prolific groupies of all time
- Chris Harris, safety for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League
- Torii Hunter, Major League Baseball player currently with the Detroit Tigers
- Keith Jackson, former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and the Green Bay Packers
- Joe Johnson, NBA basketball player
- E. Fay Jones, noted architect
- Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys
- Jim Keet, former state legislator from Little Rock, Republican gubernatorial nominee against incumbent Mike Beebe in the November 2, 2010, general election
- John Kocinski, 1990 250cc Motorcycle World Champion & 1997 Superbike Motorcycle World Champion, also won the 1993 United States 500 cc Grand Prix on a Cagiva
- John LeCompt (b. 1973), musician who has been part of the Little Rock music scene with bands like Evanescence
- Amy Lee (b. 1981), lead singer of the rock band Evanescence
- David Levering Lewis, historian, Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University and recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes
- Lil' JJ, actor, comedian, rapper, has show on Nickelodeon called Just Jordan
- Douglas MacArthur GCB (1880–1964), American general and Medal of Honor recipient, Supreme Commander of Allied forces in the South West Pacific Area during World War II; born in Little Rock
- Kevin McReynolds, Major League Baseball player for 12 years; born in Little Rock
- Sidney Moncrief, former Arkansas Razorback and NBA Milwaukee Bucks basketball great; born in Little Rock
- Houston Nutt, coach of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks football team from 1997 to 2007 and former coach of the Ole Miss Rebels; born in Little Rock
- Brooks Robinson, legendary third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball from 1955 to 1977; born in Little Rock in 1937 and began his career at Little Rock's own Lamar Porter Field
- Fatima Robinson, dance choreographer, most known for choreographing music videos for R&B singer Aaliyah, and recently her work in Dreamgirls
- Alison Rogers, real estate agent and author
- Jermain Taylor, professional boxer and Middleweight Champion of the World in 2005
- Richard Thalheimer, founder, chairman and CEO of the Sharper Image Corporation; raised in Little Rock
- Jason White (born 1973 in Little Rock), touring guitarist for Green Day
- Tommy F. Robinson, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- American Princes, whose record, Other People, was named Magnet magazine's #1 album of 2008, is based out of Little Rock.
- Richard B. Boone (February 24, 1930 – February 8, 1999) was an American jazz musician and scat singer
- Cory Brandan Putman, lead vocalist for Grammy nominated band Norma Jean and ex-guitarist for Living Sacrifice a highly successful metal band based out of Little Rock.
- Evanescence and Ho-Hum have their roots in Little Rock.
- Green Day's backup guitarist (particularly for the American Idiot tour and the 21st Century Breakdown tour), Jason White is from Little Rock.
- Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire" mentions Little Rock as a reference to the incident starting September 2, 1957 in which then-governor Orval Faubus sent National Guardsmen to prevent 9 black students from entering Little Rock Central High School as a response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
- Living Sacrifice, a Christian death/thrash/metalcore band that formed in 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.. They are considered one of the most influential bands in the Christian metal scene.
- Art Porter, Sr., (February 8, 1934 – February 8, 1993) was an American jazz pianist. He was the father of jazz saxophonist Art Porter, Jr.
- Art Porter, Jr., (August 3, 1961 – November 23, 1996), was an American jazz saxophonist. He was the son of jazz musician Art Porter, Sr.
- Pharoah Sanders, an American jazz saxophonist.
- The Sludge metal band Rwake (signed to Relapse Records) was formed in Little Rock.
- Towncraft is a documentary on the 1990s Little Rock punk rock scene.
- Jason Truby, ex-guitarist for the band P.O.D., is from Little Rock. Truby was also in the band Living Sacrifice, also based in Little Rock.
- Stevie Wonder's hit song "I Was Made To Love Her" mentions Little Rock in the first lyric.
- Grand Funk Railroad's song We're an American Band mentions Little Rock: "Out on the road for forty days/Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze"
- Lenny Wiiliams, R&B singer
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Republic of China) – 1983
- Hanam, Gyeonggi, South Korea – 1992
- Changchun, People's Republic of China – 1994
- Ragusa, Italy – 1997
- Mons, Belgium
- Pachuca, Mexico
- Samsun, Turkey – 2006
- Arkansas Metropolitan Areas
- Baptist Missionary Association of America
- Jack Stephens Center
- Little Rock Air Force Base
- 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
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