Preserve Texarkana History, Please Don’t Tear it Down
As Texarkana grows we must keep our history intact. Unfortunately, it is sad to hear there are plans to tear down a beautiful historic house in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas. The house, located at 501 Pecan Street, was built in 1903 and is known as the Foulke House.
The house is now owned by Beech Street Baptist Church and they are planning on tearing it down. In a world of immediate gratification and 'disposable' everything, shouldn't we try to save the past that is saveable? This house is on the National Registry of Historic Places and has been since the 1980s.
The Texarkana Gazette posted the 1982 application for the house that describes the history of the house and why it should be on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Foulke House presents an extremely well executed example of the Classical Revival style of architecture that flourished early in the twentieth century. Its monumental scale and sophisticated interpretation of the Classical vocabulary are outstanding among the residential architecture of Texarkana.
The house was built in 1903 by Claude Foulke, the son of lumber and railroad developer George Foulke — a Michigan native who settled in Texarkana. The younger Foulke, who resided in the house from the time of its construction until 1911 when Texarkana business man Frank W. Schiffler bought the house, was also actively involved in the building industry with interests in the Texarkana Brick Company, the Southern Furniture Company and the Standard Novelty Works Lumber Company.
The Foulke family was responsible for the construction of two other outstanding Classical Revival style houses on Pecan Street. Unfortunately, these structures have been demolished and as the only survivor of the Foulkes' unique contribution to Texarkana's built environment, the architectural significance of this house is especially compelling.
And you still ask, why should this house be saved? Texarkana is in the process of revitalizing and restoring downtown. We have lost so many beautiful old houses and buildings in the downtown and historic areas due to neglect, but this house can and should be saved. Yes, it needs some work but there are grants available. They don't make houses like this anymore. Look at the craftsmanship, the architecture, even the building materials...you just don't see this in new construction. If this beautiful house gets torn down, we can never get it back. My hope is the head pastor and the congregation at Beech Street Baptist Church will reconsider and save this beautiful part of Texarkana history.