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Prescott Commercial Historic District

Located in the heart of downtown Prescott (Nevada County), the Prescott Commercial Historic District includes properties on both sides of the railroad tracks that divide the town. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 24, 2008.

The borders of the district are roughly East Third Street, Walnut Street, West Third Street, and Pine Street. At the time of the district’s inclusion on the National Register, it contained eighty-six resources, of which forty-seven were contributing properties, with another property already listed on the National Register. The Nevada County Courthouse is located within the district and was individually added to the National Register on May 24, 2018. The Allen Tire Company and Gas Station and the Missouri Pacific Depot are also listed on the National Register and lie just outside of the boundaries of the district. Many of the buildings in the district are no longer occupied.

Prescott was founded after the railroad passed through the area, and an active line still runs through the district in the twenty-first century. Many of the businesses in the town were located near the tracks for easy access in receiving and shipping goods. Located along West First Street South is a row of eleven buildings. Facing the railroad tracks, the single-story structures were constructed between 1900 and 1905. The buildings are good examples of commercial properties constructed in this period.

The majority of buildings in the district are single story, although a number of two-story buildings are present. Most are structures of simple design constructed from brick with little or no ornamentation. Notable exceptions to this include the post office located at 206 East Elm Street. Constructed in 1926–27, the building is designed in a Colonial Revival style. The First United Methodist Church and associated education building include some Gothic Revival details. The two-story church has a corner tower and is connected to the education building by a covered walkway. It is the only church included in the district.

Other unique structures in the district include the NAPA Auto Parts store, located in a Quonset hut. The Prescott Hardware building is a two-story brick structure resting on a brick foundation. Designed in an early Republic/Federal style, the building is topped with a flat roof. Two plaques are located on the front of the building, each with the name of the company that formerly occupied the now empty structure. The Nevada County Bank building located at 100 West Main Street was constructed in 1912 in the Classical Revival style. Two stone columns flank the front door of the flat-topped brick building.

Located across the street from the courthouse is the Gilbert Lumber Company building. A red-brick structure, the building is topped with a monitor roof. Constructed in 1924, the building continues to house its namesake company in the twenty-first century. The former Logan Grocery Store was constructed in 1912. The brick building, which is topped with a flat roof, includes a pressed-tin ceiling.

The Prescott Commercial Historic District is a good example of a preserved small-town business area.

For additional information:
Nevada County Depot and Museum. http://www.depotmuseum.org/ (accessed January 16, 2019).

“Prescott Commercial Historic District.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/NE0162.nr.pdf (accessed January 16, 2019).

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated 1/16/2019

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