|City/Town: • Osceola|
|Location Class: • School • Church|
|Year Built: • 1915|
|Year Abandoned: • 1980's|
|Status: • Abandoned • Endangered • Gutted|
|Photojournalist: • James Kirkendall|
The Classical- Revival style First Baptist Church in Osceola became an immediate landmark when it was built in 1915. It was designed by Branson Uzzell and is unique in Mississippi County, featuring tabby brick and a dome similar to those in Jewish synagogues. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson’s daughter spoke to the women of Osceola here in an effort to enlist their help in the war effort. The building served the congregation until the 1980s when it was sold to a different congregation an later auctioned. It remains vacant and has been damaged by the elements and vandals. Several community members in Osceola are interested in saving the property but there has not yet been an organized effort.This culturally and architecturally significant property could serve citizens and visitors to Osceola well into the future.The First Baptist Church building’s size and associated buildings make it ideal for a number of reuses, but it needs to be rehabilitated soon.
http://preservearkansas.org/ – 2010 Arkansas’s Most Endangered Places – Arkansas Historic Preservation Alliance.