A History of the “Old Broad Street” Gallery
In 2010, Dr. Beverly J. Rowe attended a
national preservation conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
along with other members of the Texarkana, Arkansas, Historic
Commission. While there, the group toured art galleries and
museums in the Grand Rapids area. One of the high points of
these tours was a tour through the “Old Streets” Exhibit at the
Grand Rapids Museum. This exhibit took the visitor back in time
to Grand Rapids’ main shopping district in the late 1800s.
Dr. Rowe and
her husband, Auby, own two downtown buildings in Texarkana,
Arkansas, each of which has about 7,000 square feet of space.
They had been wondering to what use these buildings could be
put. On the second floor of the building at 202 E. Broad
Street, there are about 3,500 square feet of space in a
rectangle of about 25’ by 140’. Because it was once warehouse
space for an appliance store, it is a perfect space for an “old
streets” exhibit for Texarkana.
contacted Jaimie Simmons at the Texarkana Museums System to see
if the museum had enough materials to stock a historic downtown
exhibit and was delighted to hear that they had plenty of
artifacts in storage to keep the exhibit changing every five
years, or so.
has been closed for a number of years and the city has
determined that new electrical, plumbing, and heat and air
systems will have to be installed before the gallery can be
opened to the general public.
went through a “demolition” phase in November of 2011 and is now
ready to begin the construction of this gallery. Currently, we
are raising money to pay for the systems that need to be in
place and for the construction of ten storefronts and the old
town well. Donors of larger amounts will be able to “construct
a storefront” and have it named in someone’s honor. If you
would like to become a sponsor of this exhibit, please go to our
“Become a Sponsor” tab.
forward to the opening of this unique exhibit and anticipate
that it will be completed within two years. (2013)