Historic preservation

J. Froelich / KUAF

Gypsy Camp, constructed on the banks of the Illinois River south of Siloam Springs in rural Benton County almost a century ago, is being preserved. The quaint girls' summer camp operated from 1921 to 1978 before turning into a private residence. Two years ago, a private partnership purchased the property to establish a a river outfitting business and restore the site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jerrid Gelinas provides a tour.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

After residents of Fayetteville's Washington-Willow Historic District expressed interest in an ordinance that would regulate what can be done to the homes in the neighborhood, city planners got to work. The department is now seeking public input on recently unveiled proposed design guidelines that could eventually become an ordinance, creating the city's first historic preservation district. 

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The Fitzgerald Station historic site in east Springdale will undergo a conservation assessment. The property, which once belonged to early Springdale settler John Fitzgerald, is a so-called witness site because of major historic events that took place along Old Wire Road. The Northwest Arkansas Trailblazers deeded the property to the City of Springdale after purchasing 130 acres of land on Fitzgerald Mountain for the construction of a mountain biking and hiking trail system.

courtesy: Google Maps

As Fayetteville's population grows every year, local history buffs want to ensure historic neighborhoods are recognized and protected from what they say is encroaching development. The Fayetteville Historic District Commission is working to add the Meadow-Spring and University Heights neighborhoods to the National Register of Historic Places, which already includes six other Fayetteville neighborhoods. The Meadow-Spring area includes homes that date back to the late 1800s including the Vest Home, which was built in 1870.


After two homes were torn down in Fayetteville's historic Washington-Willow neighborhood, some residents have expressed interest in developing a historic preservation ordinance. Such an ordinance would protect the other homes that are still there. The city's Planning Division recently sent out about 260 surveys to property owners in the neighborhood to gauge the amount of support for some sort of code.