A hotel that welcomed visitors to Warren for seven decades is among 10 sites the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas has named to its 2012 list of Arkansas’ Endangered Places.
Built in 1914 by Phillip and Fannie Coker, the Coker hotel welcomed travelers and visitors to Bradley County for over a half a century. The hotel served the lumber industry in Warren, which precipitated the business and population boom into the 1920s and 1930s. The building is a key community landmark in Warren’s downtown area. The building is not currently listed on the National Register of Historic places, but it is within the boundaries of the area being surveyed for a downtown commercial district.
The Coker Hotel suffers from years of lack of maintenance and is currently vacant, making it susceptible to vandalism, damage from the elements and animal and rodent infestation.
Having recently joined the Arkansas Downtown Network, the city of Warren has made a committment to the preservation of its historic downtown and landmarks. The elderly owner of the building lives out of state and has no plans for the Coker Hotel, but the Warren Chamber of Commerce sees the hotel as a key piece of the revitalization of downtown Warren.
In addition to the Coker Hotel, the endangered sites list includes historic county courthouses across the state, three early 20th century schools, including two landmarks of the state’s African American heritage, a stunning Art Deco skyscraper, remnants from an early 20th Century resort, a university president’s house, an early 20th Century theater, and a 19th Century rooming house.
“The 2012 list highlights distinctive historic places throughout Arkansas that represent important aspects of Arkansas’s history and heritage,” said Vanessa McKuin, executive director of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas.
“In each instance these places are integral to the communities where are they located, yet they are in immediate danger of disappearing from the landscape,” she said. “By calling attention to these sites now, we want to encourage local action while there’s still time. It is our hope that inclusion on our list will provide those who care for these sites with the support and momentum to take their preservation efforts to the next level.”
The 2012 list of Arkansas’ Most Endangered Places
Arkansas’s Historic County Courthouses, Statewide
Bigelow Rosenwald School, Highway 60 and Bethel AME Road, Toad Suck, Perry County
Coker Hotel, 114 W Cedar, Warren, Bradley County
Holloway House (Pioneer House/Hiwasse Hotel), 13692 Hwy. 72, Hiwasse, Benton County
Holman School, 605 N Buerkle Street, Stuttgart, Arkansas County
Medical Arts Building, 236 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, Garland County
Monte Ne & Oklahoma Row Hotel, Hwy. 94 spur near Monte Ne, Benton County
New Hope School, 3762 Highway 284, Wynne vicinity, Cross County
Palace Theater, 224 W South Street, Benton, Saline County
V.C. Kays House, 2506 Aggie Road, Jonesboro, Craighead County