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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.

                Dr. Rowe 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. 

                The building 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. 

                The building 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.

                We look forward to the opening of this unique exhibit and anticipate that it will be completed within two years. (2013)