Texas nonprofit likes look of vacant LR site

Job Corps Building

Job Corps Building

An excerpt from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Texas Nonprofit likes look of vacant LR site
by Claudia Lauer
March 11, 2013

A potential buyer has plans to give the former Job Corps building on Vance Street in Little Rock new life.

A pending-sale sign was posted recently on the side of the eight-story building, which has sat vacant since 2008, and a Texas nonprofit organization has made several pitches to city officials and Pettaway Park residents over the past month regarding what the nonprofit wants to do with the building.

Paradise Victory Cathedral World Ministries hopes to turn the building into the Ida B. Wells Home for Pregnant Girls, according to a written proposal submitted to the Pettaway Neighborhood Association in February. Julius J. Larry III, a spokesman for the company, did not return phone calls seeking comment Friday.

A formal plan had not been submitted to the Little Rock Planning Department as of Friday, and staff members said the deadline for the next Planning Commission meeting cycle was Monday at 5 p.m. The proposal would not be heard until early May if it is submitted after that deadline.

Planning Department Director Tony Bozyinski said he had a brief conversation with the potential buyers and said staff members suggested that the nonprofit file a request to have the zoning changed to that of a planned development district.

The written proposal submitted to the neighborhood association includes building a commercial kitchen and cafeteria, and administrative offices on the first floor.The nonprofit hopes to attract law offices and a beauty salon, as well as build classrooms, a nondenominational chapel and an office for The Little Rock Sun Community Newspaper on the second floor.

The third through seventh floors would be converted into dormitory-style housing and bathroom facilities. Under the preliminary plan, each of those floors would have a medical office for prenatal emergency needs.

The eighth floor would be used for a boardroom, banquet hall and space for a community radio station.

It was unclear in the written plan whether any such businesses have signed on to lease space or be a part of the architectural process. No businesses aside from the newspaper were mentioned by name.

To read the rest of this article click here.

Keep Little Rock Beautiful kicks off 4th annual city wide clean up at Pettaway Park

keep-little-rock-beautiful-logoKeep Little Rock Beautiful

Kicks Off tomorrow at Pettaway Park

The East Broadway Alert Center in conjunction with Keep Little Rock Beautiful will kick off its 4th annual city wide clean up event, 8:00 am, March 9, 2013 at Pettaway Park (corner of East 21st and Commerce Streets) in downtown Little Rock.  Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will issue a proclamation to kick off the event.  Bring your rakes, pruners, garden gloves, good cheer and play your part in keeping Little Rock beautiful.  For a list of clean up locations click here.

KLRB will kick off 4th annual city wide clean up at Pettaway Park

keep-little-rock-beautiful-logoLittle Rock cleanup joins national efforts
an excerpt from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
March 3, 2013

Keep Little Rock Beautiful will host its fourth annual city-wide cleanup March 9, 2013.

The nonprofit organization promotes litter pickup, recycling, city beautification and community improvement.  The cleanup will take place in conjunction with similar events across the country in march for the Great American Cleanup, which involves an estimated 3 million volunteers throughout the nation.

Little Rock’s cleanup will kick off at 8 a.m. at Pettaway Park at East 21st and Commerce streets.  Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will issue a proclamation before volunteers get underway.

A recycling trailer will be located at the East Broadway Alert Center at 500 E. 21st St. for bottles and cans collected during the pickup.

The organization chose the Pettaway neighborhood as the large group project for the cleanup because of the effort residents have put into cleaning up the neighborhood and reclaiming it from its former reputation as a center of gang activity.

Neighborhoods all over Little Rock are encouraged to host and organize cleanup activities and can register their events with the Keep Little Rock Beautiful staff for help, supplies and T-shirts for volunteers.  Last year, 38 groups registered cleanups.


Pop Up Mainstreet 2013 coming soon

Pop Up Main StreetPopUp looks on Main

SOMA organizer discusses the design vision for the neighborhood and community involvement.

James Meyer is a project designer with Witsell Evans Rasco Architects/Planners and associate director of the American Institute of Architects Arkansas Chapter. He is the marketing and public relations chair for studioMAIN.

Q: For those who may have missed the buzz over the last year or so, let me start by asking you to tell me a little about studioMAIN. What is it, in a nutshell, and what does the group do?

A: StudioMAIN is a public outreach and community design center that works toward educating the general public about the role of good design in their daily lives and advocates the positive effects good design provides to cities and communities.

We function as a design collaboration between all parts of the design and construction industries, including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, contractors and artists. Our hope is that studioMAIN will provide a place for people to learn more about some of the great design efforts in our city, and to be an incubator for even better ideas about the future of our city.

A key part of our mission is to foster collaboration and encourage multi-disciplinary partnerships between the design fields and other civic institutions. We feel this is a critical endeavor to help develop the future leaders of our city and institutions, and promote a better built environment.

Q: Part of your mission involves hosting exhibits in your office on South Main, right? And I’m told you have an exhibit schedule for the year already? Can you share details?

A: Yep, for the past year we have been hosting monthly exhibitions on local design and issues as part of the city’s Second Friday Art Nights, and have gotten lots of positive feedback. Thanks to this community input we have been able to craft a full and exciting schedule for this year.

In February we will have our Year-in-Review exhibit, which will be a great way for folks who missed some of last year’s exhibits to get caught up. In March, we will be holding a book fundraiser for the DLRCDC and the Pettaway Park Masterplan manual. In April we will hold a memorial exhibition for Rick Redden, a local architect who passed away last year after making incredible contributions to our downtown. In honor of the Arkansas Arts Center’s Bauhaus exhibit this summer, we will have an exhibit of buildings in Arkansas that were influenced by the Bauhaus style. June will bring us a juried student competition from the Fay Jones School of Architecture, and in July we will be exhibiting furniture by UALR Applied Design students. In August we will have a public showing of the finalists for the Envision Little Rock competition. We will hold another PopUp public planning and input in September. An exhibition about transportation called Bikes, Rails and Trails will be seen in October. We will host the Arkansas Design Awards in November showing works from local architects, landscape architects and interior designers. We will finish the year up with an event celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nolen Masterplan for Little Rock.

Outside of our Second Fridays there are several events we hope to contribute to again, such as the Little Rock Film Festival. It’s definitely going to be a busy year.

Q: You mentioned there’s another PopUp event coming in the not too distant future. What can you tell me about that and the plans for it? What may be the same or different this time around?

A: PopUp Main Street gave us a wonderful opportunity to create a full-scale test for a “complete street” design that folks have been talking about in Little Rock for years. The City of Little Rock and Create Little Rock have been great partners for us with this event. We hope to keep this partnership of experimentation and placemaking going, and hold another PopUp event this year as well.

We are just beginning our process for the next PopUp event. Main Street, Seventh Street, Second Street and the Argenta area have all been mentioned as possible locations. We will have a few exploratory and organizing meetings before selecting the final location, and then we will start holding our public input and design sessions again in August of this year. We tentatively plan to hold the actual event in October or November.

To read the rest of this article click here!

Keep Little Rock Beautiful Kick Off at Pettaway Park, Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 8:00am


Pettaway Park

Pettaway Park



We are looking forward to the March 9th clean-up which is being sponsored by the Keep Little Rock Beautiful Committee and if it was not for your willingness to assist with this endeavor as you did in previous years this event would not be possible. We are also asking all volunteers, civic groups and church groups to meet us in front of Pettaway Park on Saturday, March 9th in order to have the annual Kick off site in our area at 8:00 a.m.. Mayor Stodola will make the presentation in order for the event to start.

This year we are going to concentrate on Pettaway Park in cleaning it along with some of our other problematic spots.  If you know of an issue that we should address during the clean-up please let me know.  Since we have a shortage of rakes and other tools we would appreciate it if you could bring a rake or a shovel if you have one. 

Here is the plan that was discussed for improving the appearance of the park during the upcoming March 9th City Wide Cleanup


1.  Rake and bag all of the leaves and debris along the perimeter fence.  Parks & Recreation will bring 6 leaf rakes.


2.  Cut the vegetation and overgrowth along the perimeter fence and around the trees that are in need of this.  Parks & Recreation will bring 4-limb loppers.


3.  Rake the debris from the rocks that surround the playground equipment.  Parks & Recreation will bring 2-garden rakes.


4.  Limb up around a select number of trees that have low-hanging limbs that interfere with people walking about the park.  Parks & Recreation will bring 1-manual pole pruner.


5.  If time permits or a number of people bring their own leaf rakes, rake and bag as much of the park grounds as possible.


A  box of KP 3858 Heavy-Duty black plastic bags be brought by Parks & Recreation to use for the leaves and debris.

Reflections: Pettaway Neighborhood Association

Pettaway Park

 History of Pettaway Neighborhood Association

Pettaway residents rallied together in May 1992 to address an increase in gang activities, drug problems, blighted lots, decline of home ownership, and an elevated level of fear among the property owners who lived in downtown Little Rock’s East of Main street area.  They met and began working with the City of Little Rock to try and find solutions for some of these issues.  One of the major obstacles for residents of the Pettaway Park area was gang infestation and other undesirable activities occuring in the park.

Concerned residents met in the home of Mrs. Bertha Vault along with City of Little Rock Board of Director member, Joan Adcock.  With Director Adcock’s assistance residents formed the first neighborhood association in July of 1994.

Residents worked diligently within the neighborhood to reimage their community in a family oriented manner opposite of that portrayed in the HBO documentary “Banging in Little Rock.”

The name of the association was changed from East of Broadway Association to Pettaway Neighborhood Association in 2003 due to a request from some residents who wanted the association named after the prominent black doctor, Dr. Charles D. Pettaway.

Residents also met monthly at Greater Macedonia Baptist Church on East 24th Street.  Working together they wrote a proposal for an alert center in October 1994.  In 1995 the City of Little Rock received a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant for an alert center and in October 1996 as a result of participation, commitment, hard work and collaboration of residents with the City of Little Rock, the residents in the East of Main Street area were fortunate to obtain the East Broadway Alert Center at 500 East 21st. Street, Little Rock, AR 72206, where the community still meets today.


More on Reverend Dr. Charles D. Pettaway

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Reverend Charles Pettaway and Fred Thomas Jones Sr., a physician and pioneer in providing insurance and medical care to African Americans in Arkansas and Louisiana established the United Friends of America in 1918.  In 1919, Jones established the Great Southern Fraternal Hospital in Little Rock.  Located in the predominantly black area of Little Rock, near the intersection of 9th and State streets, the hospital provided medical care for members of two black fraternal organizations: the United Friends of America and the Independent Order of Immaculates.  White doctors operated at the hospital along with Jones and other black physicians.

St. Luke’s Baptist Church records Reverend Dr. C.D. Pettaway as Pastor of its church in 1947.  In 1957 Dr. Pettaway was elected president of the National Baptist Convention of America and served in that capacity for 10 years.

At a convention meeting (September 1966) in Kansas City, M.O., Jet Magazine, records Dr. Pettaway as stating: “I don’t believe in black power.  I don’t believe, either, in white power.  What I do believe in is ‘Right Power.’  Martin Luther King’s way for us is the best way.  That way is nonviolence.  I love everybody.  I don’t hate anybody.  God didn’t put us here to seek power of ourselves.  He put us here to develop the world to glorify his name and spread good will and fellowship everywhere.”

Reverend Dr. Charles D. Pettaway was born December 18, 1886 and died August 20, 1968.  He is buried at Haven of Rest Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

7th Annual Pettaway Community Fest Day

Pettaway’s Silver Seniors invite former and present Pettaway neighborhood residents, family and friends to the 7th Annual Pettaway Community Fest, August 27, 2011, 12:00 pm [Noon] – 6:00 pm at Pettaway Park 511 East 21st Street (at the corner of Commerce Street) in downtown Little Rock (east of Main Street).

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and come enjoy the food, music, speakers and exhibitors.  For more information contact Carl Vault, 501.416.6523.