Maybe they’re sentimental souls whose warm memories of the bustling downtown of their youth drives their work today. Maybe they’re just well-connected homeys who saw a niche and capitalized on it. Or maybe they’re savvy civic-minded businessmen who saw a way to keep Little Rock on the map, give it an identity and some red-blooded, cosmopolitan airs, even if the path there was a tough one. Possibly all of that is true.
Whatever the reasons, Jimmy Moses and Rett Tucker — and their silent partners, both financial and political — deserve credit for a reoxygenated part of downtown Little Rock whose centerpiece architecture is not offices, but places to live.
The dispute over how many football games the Arkansas Razorbacks should play at Little Rock was settled before Dr. David Alsobrook came to town to direct the Clinton Presidential Library. But he knows which side he would have been on.
“I wish they played more games here,” he said. “When the Razorbacks are in town, we get not only Razorback fans but the other team’s fans too.” He remembers fondly the swarm of LSU fans who visited the library two years ago.
“But we know who makes those decisions, don’t we,” Alsobrook said. “He’s been here, by the way.” The reference was to Frank Broyles, the athletic director and former head coach at UA. It was Broyles who dictated a reduction in the number of Little Rock games from three to two, so that another game could be played in the larger stadium in Fayetteville. Broyles came to the library with Broyles Award nominees and their families. The Broyles Award is given annually to the assistant coach chosen as the best in the country. While Broyles was at the library, he had his picture made with a sheet-metal sculpture of a Razorback that was given to Clinton while he was president by one Jabe Jackson of Montana.
Do you know how long it takes a city to build one trail?
Longer than you might think. It’s taken nearly 30 years for the concept of a multipurpose urban trail to make its way out of the imaginations of a handful of city leaders and onto the pavement.
The Arkansas River Trail is a work in progress — new features seem to crop up every few months — that has taken a host of philanthropists, organizers, city departments and planners to bring full circle, literally.
The opening of the BigDamBridge pedestrian crossing over the Murray Lock and Dam created a 14-mile bike/hike loop. But much more work must be done for the River Trail to be complete.
It will be worth the wait, trail planners say.
When complete, the River Trail will be nearly 25 miles long, not just connecting downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock but providing a route to Pinnacle Mountain State Park and to the Ouachita Wilderness Trail (which is itself around 225 miles long).