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Monthly archives: June, 2016

Press Release — Lakeport Legacies — June 23 — Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

For immediate release 5/14/2016

Lakeport Plantation’s monthly history talk, Lakeport Legacies, will feature Mason Toms. In his talk, “Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta,” Mr. Toms will explore the region’s most interesting Modern architecture. Structures like the old Dermott State Bank (now Simmons) and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt exemplify the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II. Today Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

 

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through "modern and up-to-date" practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through “modern and up-to-date” practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

Mason Toms currently serves as the Main Street Arkansas Exterior Design Consultant and Preservation Specialist. As such, he works with building owners in historic downtowns to preserve their facades and storefronts, while still making them visually appealing to a younger generation of consumers.  Mr. Toms also works closely with the National Register Department to research and survey Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state. Through these surveys, as well as social media efforts, lectures, and tours, Mr. Toms hopes to raise awareness of the unique and innovative Mid-Century architecture that Arkansas possesses. Mason is a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a minor in history, and concentration in architectural history.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul's Luthern Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John's Lutheran Church.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Mid-Century Modern3

Dr. H.W. Thomas House, Dermott. Modernist residences in the Delta, like Dr. H.W. Thomas House in Dermott, emerged in the post-World War II ear. Built in 1954 by an unknown architect, the design is heavily influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The design is low and somewhat “hugs” the ground. The heavy use of natural materials in the exterior cladding ties the building to the earth in Wrightian fashion.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031.

Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta
 
presented by
 
Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)
 
Thursday, June 23
 
Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

 

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on one of the last Thursdays at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. The event is free and open to the public. The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed ca. 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas’s premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details. Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. ASU’s Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and the Arkansas State University Museum.

Lakeport Plantation • 601 Highway 142 • Lake Village • AR • 71653 • lakeport.astate.edu • 870-265-6031



Scott House Designed by Architect James Willis

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The Scott House, also known as the Buffington House, in Lake Village was built in 1951 for Clyde and Leslie Scott. Clyde, a gifted athlete for the Arkansas Razorbacks and an Olympic medalist, married Leslie Hampton of Lake Village in 1946. The couple built this Mid-Century Modern home as a summer house in 1951. Local lore attributes the house to E. Fay Jones (likely because he was a friend during the Scott’s time in Fayetteville); However, the home does not resemble any of Jones’ work nor is it listed in any of his projects. According to Leslie Scott, the architect was James Willis, who was with the Little Rock firm of Wittenburg, Delony and Davidson from 1949-1955. Later Willis formed the Pine Bluff firm of Reed & Willis with D. A. Reed.

The Scotts owned the house for about five years and then it was sold to the Marvin & Louise Buffington. Marvin Buffington, a local historian, wrote several histories of Chicot County institutions.  After Marvin’s death in 1994, Mrs. Buffington sold the home to Charles Turnage. The home is currently vacant.

Courtesy of Arkansas State Archives

Architect James P. Willis (center) with partner D. A. Reed (right) in Pine Bluff, 1958. Photograph by Ernie Deane and Courtesy of Arkansas State Archives

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Sources:

Cashion, Scott.” Clyde Luther “Smackover” Scott (1924–),” in Arkansas Encyclopedia of History & Culturehttp://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2761 (Accessed June 15, 2016)

Fay Jones Collection, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, https://libraries.uark.edu/specialcollections/manuscripts/FayJones/projects.asp (Accessed June 15, 2016)

Hampton, Leslie. Phone interview, June 15, 2016

Williamson, Elizabeth (Buffington). email correspondence, July 13-14, 2017

Willis, James. Obituary in Find a Grave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=96807198 (Accessed June 15, 2016)

 

 

updated July 14, 2017

 

 

 



Lakeport Legacies · Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

presented by

Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)

Thursday, June 23

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

Framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Dewitt. Designed by Scott Farrell and constructed in 1966.

Framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell.

 

Drawing from examples across the Arkansas Delta, Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program) will discuss the region’s most interesting Modern architecture. Structures like the old Dermott State Bank (now Simmons) and the Jay Lewis House in McGehee (designed by architect Edward Durell Stone), exemplify the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II. Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

Mason Toms currently serves as the Main Street Arkansas Exterior Design Consultant and Preservation Specialist. He works with building owners in historic downtowns to preserve their facades and storefronts, while still making them visually appealing to a younger generation of consumers. Mr. Toms also works closely with the National Register Department to research and survey Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state. Through these surveys, as well as social media efforts, lectures, and tours, Mr. Toms hopes to raise awareness of the unique and innovative Mid-Century architecture that Arkansas possesses. Mason is a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a minor in history, and concentration in architectural history.

Please RSVP to this FREE Event
(thru online, phone or email)
870.265.6031
lakeport.ar@gmail.com

 

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.



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