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Through Changing Scenes: Architecture and Community Values in Little Rock's Historic Urban Churches (2008)

Directed by Dr. Patrick Lee Lucas, pp. 322


This paper investigates why and how six historic urban churches in Little Rock, 
Arkansas adapted architecturally to changing community needs. In approaching this 
research, the researcher examined a wide variety of information: what events motivated 
building alterations, how the community and congregation viewed the church structure, 
and how churches utilized their buildings to house community services.

The churches selected for this study are located within the original nineteenth 
century city boundary. The social and cultural landscape of the city have changed 
dramatically over the last century with the urbanization and reform of the Progressive 
Era, the social unrest and rise of fundamentalism during the War Years, racial tension and 
urban renewal efforts of the 1950s through the 1970s, and downtown revitalization and 
preservation concerns of the present era.

The researcher compiled Primary source documents to discern each 
congregation’s growth pattern within each era, then analyzed the churches in each time 
periods in Little Rock’s history for a variety of architectural and social themes. The 
trends that emerged resulted in typologies of church growth. Churches followed similar 
trends architecturally with regards to style, building materials, and furnishings, as well as 
patterns in building use. This investigation seeks to look at the churches holistically, not 
simply as significant architectural structures, but also as community hubs, housing critical
spaces that shaped Little Rock’s urban community.

View complete thesis at :


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