11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Little Rock Central High School

Year Listed: 1996
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect

little_rock_central_high_school.jpg

Photo: Carol Highsmith

Significance

In 1957, all eyes were on Little Rock's Central High when nine African American students were escorted into the school by federal troops.

Despite its grandeur and landmark status as the flagship high school in Little Rock, Central High was not been immune from ravages suffered by many inner-city schools across the country. Urban flight, a declining neighborhood, heavy use, a dwindling tax base, and shrinking budgets took their toll on this historic site. In fact, a 1990s study ranked Central High fifth among the city's five high schools in terms of negative building conditions. The study concluded that more than $6 million was needed in structural repairs and facility upgrades to allow the building to properly serve as a high school.