part of the Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third Street|
Little Rock, Arkansas
The museum was created as part of the Arkansas Territorial Capitol Restoration Commission, by Act 388 of the 1939 Arkansas General Assembly. The act named Louise Loughborough as chairwoman of the commission.  Loughborough had been named to the Little Rock Planning Commission in 1935. Several houses near Cumberland and East 3rd Streets in downtown Little Rock were going to be condemned, including the Hinderliter House, the oldest building in Little Rock and the last capitol building of Arkansas before statehood. Loughborough started a public relations campaign around Little Rock as a "town of three Capitols": the Hinderliter House, the Old State House, and the current Arkansas State Capitol Building. Loughborough then gained support from the Works Progress Administration, the Arkansas General Assembly, and private donors.
Loughborough worked with architect Max Mayer to restore the half-block of houses at Cumberland and East 3rd Street in downtown Little Rock. The Museum opened on July 19, 1941.
The museum maintains gallery space and a number of historic buildings original to the site, as well as log structures transported from around the state. It was previously known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, but the name was changed in 2001 when new exhibit space and renovations were completed. The museum is an affiliate within the Smithsonian Affiliations program.
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