ADN Presents: Forgotten Little Rock: An Exploration of Little Rock’s Historic Neighborhoods

Date: Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

Time: 6:00 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. 

Place: Windgate Center of Art + Design, UA Little Rock Campus, 2801 S University Ave, Little Rock, AR


LITTLE ROCK, AR. – Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2022/2023 June Freeman lecture series with “Forgotten Little Rock: An Exploration of Little Rock’s Historic Neighborhoods”, with Tom Fennell, AIA , founding partner of Fennell Purifoy Architects.

The fascination people have with houses, old and new, is almost universal. Our houses and neighborhoods speak with authenticity to the history of those who went before us. Looking and photographing houses and neighborhoods over time tells us a lot about how Little Rock developed and changed through various eras.   We will explore the forces that drove those changes, for better or worse and we will discuss how design, construction, materials and craftspeople contributed to the styles of houses we still enjoy. Central to this discussion is the concept of “neighborhood” and what its houses tell us about who we are, (or were) what we aspired to, and how external factors affected and affect how we live.

Forgotten Little Rock is a private FaceBook page created and maintained by Ellen and Tom Fennell in 2014 that is now followed by almost 14,000 people. Forgotten Little Rock was created to highlight the structures and history of neighborhoods south of I630 that were blighted by the cutting in two of the city when the interstate was built. Our photographic territory now covers the Heights, Hillcrest and even parts of North Little Rock. Occasionally, we stray to other towns in Arkansas.

Tom is a founding partner of Fennell Purifoy Architects, formed in 1985 in Little Rock.  Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Fine Arts from the University of the South, Tom turned his occupation as a draftsman at age 15 into a vocation when he became the last architect in Arkansas licensed by examination. Tom and his wife Ellen, who is retired state director of Audubon Arkansas after a career with non-profit environmental organizations , have lived for 34 years in the Governor’s Mansion District in the Dr. O. K. Judd House designed by the architect Max Mayer in 1924.

Tom’s passion for and commitment to historic architecture extends to his business through the rehabilitation of historic structures with Federal and State historic tax credit projects, as well as work in neighborhood planning and redevelopment. Tom is currently a Little Rock Historic District Commissioner. Tom and Ellen also serve on the board of Tree Streets, a non-profit that plants trees in Downtown Little Rock neighborhoods.

ADN lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Supporters of ADN include the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, the UA Little Rock Department of Art & Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.  For additional information contact