Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Trey Berry

Second Advisor

Dr. Wendy Richter

Third Advisor

Ms. Margaret Reed

Abstract

Many masterpieces go unnoticed by the public. Men will design works of art which clearly prove their talent and craftsmanship, but the buildings are overlooked and left to wither away with age. Architecture reflects not only the talents of those who design and construct buildings; it also serves as a historical record. A building reflects the romantic notions of the period while looking to the future and revealing a promise of progress. Some structures become so significant to their surroundings because of their endurance, character and historical prominence, that they assume a notable respect within the community and state. This is clearly what has happened with many of Charles Thompson's masterpieces, both in Arkadelphia and in other communities across the state of Arkansas. It must be a wonderful feeling for an artist to see his work so appreciated that it withstands the test of time. Unfortunately, Mr. Thompson did not live long enough to realize the full impact his work had on such a community as Arkadelphia. His work has been recognized by the town, county, and state for over a century as beautiful structures built with a grand purpose, a purpose which enveloped all that Mr. Thompson believed in- community spirit and growth.

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