Friday, September 10, 2021

Gould

From Pine Bluff, I tried to head out to take a few more pictures. But I got turned around and missed a turn, and the phone GPS sent me on a weird direction that I hadn't planned on following. Whoops. The change in route did head by a few interesting places, so I diligently pulled over and tried to get a few pictures when I could.

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And this shell of an old barn, which looks like it won't be standing much longer.

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I headed into the small town of Gould and stopped at the old Gould Auto Parts store, which was completely covered in vines.

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Even the front door was nearly hidden away.

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For a comparison, here's how the same place looked during a visit back in 2014:

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Pine Bluff

The other day I had some free time so I made a quick trip down to Pine Bluff, which is a great place to take pictures. Pine Bluff has lots of old, unique and interesting architecture.

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This was a sign for Henry Marx Co., a clothing store that opened way back in 1895. The store closed after 101 years in business, in 1996.

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Nearby was this tile mosaic, the final remains of what was once a building here. In the background is the Hotel Pines.

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This building sat near the busy train tracks...

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Pine Bluff has unfortunately been given an unkind and unfair reputation. But despite that, the city seems to really be trying to regain its status as the preeminent city of southeast Arkansas. In the past few years, the city has unveiled a streetscape project that has expanded sidewalks and added new landscaping and light fixtures along Main Street. Along with that, the city has also opened a state-of-the-art Pine Bluff/Jefferson County library, the Pine Bluff Aquatic Center, the 601 Main Street Plaza, and an expansion of the Arts and Science Center Art Space.

During the rennovations of a building along Main Street, an old ghost sign was exposed when a modern facade was removed. The sign was for the Sweetland Confectionary, which once boasted the coffee in town.

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Just across the street is another old sign, this one for a local attorney.

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Just around the corner was this row of neat old buildings, which includes the Masonic Temple (built 1902-1912).

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A few blocks away is the Jefferson County Courthouse, which was built in 1856 and is one of the oldest courthouses in Arkansas. It was almost destroyed by fire in 1976, but the original facade was saved and restored.

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One of my favorite buildings in Pine Bluff is the old Saenger Theater, which opened in 1924. Would love to see this old gem get fixed up and preserved.

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While heading out of town I passed by this old building and got a quick question. A Google search for the Pine Bluff Iron Works found a Facebook page, but sadly the last post was in 2011 saying that "It is with a heavy heart to report our 107year old business is officially closed."

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