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AAC


FEATURE


A Treasure Lonoke County judge is dedicated to preserving historic courthouse.


Story and photos by Holly Hope Arkansas Historic Preservation Program


years.” In fact, it has outlasted the previous buildings by sev- eral decades. Little Rock architect H. Ray Burks designed the Lonoke County Courthouse in the Neo-Classical style. Te red brick veneer of the building was complimented with lime- stone details, including cartouche keystones, full-height Doric columns, urn balustrades, paneled friezes, and Art Deco orna- mentation. Each elevation of this public building is exuberant- ly articulated, resulting in an impressive classic presentation appropriate to a seat of government. Lonoke County was created from Pulaski and Prairie coun- ties in 1873. Tat same year the town of Lonoke was appoint- ed the county seat, making it the only city in Arkansas by the same name as the county. An existing two-story frame house


T 30


he 1928 Lonoke County Courthouse in Lonoke is the third seat of government for the county. When it was built, Te Lonoke Democrat stated it would probably be adequate for the “next fifty


was used as the official Lonoke County courthouse in the year of formation. A fire in 1881 destroyed the structure, so the county rented several spaces, including a funeral home, for official business. In 1884 the Circuit Court selected a com- mission to propose a new courthouse. An architect was hired, and a two-story brick building with Italianate influences was completed in 1885 for $15,000. By the 1920s, the courthouse had deteriorated and the county had outgrown the building. Te Lonoke County Quo- rum Court approved new construction for a courthouse and jail in 1924, and a formal contract for the construction of the county’s third courthouse was executed in 1927. Te Court- house Commission approved Burks’ plans in 1925 and notice was let for construction bids. Nov. 15, 1927, was scheduled for the formal ground breaking and a holiday was declared. Te laying of the cornerstone took place on May 14, 1928. Sen. Joseph T. Robinson of Lonoke County was the featured speaker for an estimated crowd of 2,000 people who were en- tertained with singing, speeches, and circling airplanes.


COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2019


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