Classic Downtown McCrory Gets Fresh Looks (Main Street Preservation | Honorable Mention, Fewer than 5,000)

Sitting along U.S. Highway 64 in the Arkansas Delta, the city of McCrory holds on to its humble roots, but also works hard to keep the community alive and thriving in the 21st century. It’s a small town with just over 1,700 residents, where farm silos can be seen from Main Street. Its downtown area was added to the Arkansas Historical Register in 2010, but visitors shouldn’t expect a business center looking like it’s seen better days.

Visitors will instead see a downtown center that has been recognized for its Main Street Preservation as a 2013 City of Distinction for populations fewer than 5,000.

Owners of the old, historic buildings are improving their properties. The Old Sears Building, now owned by the Brown family, is an example. Private parties and business meetings for the community are held in the front of the building with even a public line dancing class held weekly. The Browns have transformed the back of the property into a two bedroom apartment, maintaining a home downtown and adding residents to the town center.

Next to the Old Sears Building, Rudick Accounting & Tax Service has transformed an undesirable and run-down building into its updated headquarters. The front section of the building was renovated to add offices and a meeting room was installed in the rear.

The McCrory Flower Shop has been a fixture for many years. New owners have taken over the dated building and restored it to its former glory. The original tin ceiling tiles were uncovered and repaired. The storefront has a new awning.

All three of these properties share in common not just a fresh look to some historical properties, but have also been funded privately, at the owner’s expense with no federal or state assistance applied.

Another example of private investment improving the look and quality of life in McCrory is found at the Chappell Civic Center. A former mercantile, grocery store and bank, the center now serves as the meeting place for the city council and is often used for family reunions, private parties and even the McCrory High School prom. When the property was donated to the city, a fund for the upkeep of the building was included. Extensive repairs are soon planned without federal or state funds needed.

McCrory considers itself a jewel of the Arkansas Delta, but is also pragmatic enough to see that the region is struggling. Maintaining the properties goes a long way toward retaining hometown pride.