North Little Rock was once known as Argenta. Argenta was named for the silver mines at the old Kellogg Diggins on what is now Mine Road. Argenta was unincorporated until 1890 when Little Rock annexed Argenta without really asking the residents if they wanted to be annexed or not. The residents took the case to court, and on March 26, 1892, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Little Rock and Argenta/North Little Rock became the Eighth Ward of Little Rock. Two aldermen were elected, and one, William C. Faucette, would later lead the charge to create North Little Rock. Faucette is a very interesting character, and he was a masterful politician.
Through an elaborate scheme, a neighboring area was incorporated in 1901 and called “North Little Rock.” Then, Faucette helped to pass the Hoxie-Walnut Ridge bill in 1903, which would ultimately allow the city of “North Little Rock” to reclaim the Eighth Ward as the city of Argenta. The name was changed back to North Little Rock in October 1917.
Argenta Today / Historic Architecture:
Today, only the downtown area of North Little Rock is known as Argenta. The historic area offers many restaurants, bars, galleries, walkable sidewalks and a Farmer’s Market (closed due to construction in 2018) in the spring and summer. The area hosts many of North Little Rock’s celebrations and is the center for nightlife and family activities in North Little Rock. It’s a common place for gallery walks.
Many of the buildings in the area are historic including North Little Rock City Hall (300 Main Street), the Argenta Post Office (420 Main Street), the Faucette Building (405 Main Street, now a theater), the Old Central Fire Station (506 N. Main Street, now a library), and the Baker House (109 West 5th Street, now and Bed and Breakfast).
The Argenta Community Theater:
The Argenta Community Theater is a state-of-the-art facility that can be rented for events, and also hosts performances throughout the year. It’s located in the Faucette Building, which was built in 1900 and was the home to the first Twin City Bank. More on the theater and history.
The Baker House is a lovely building in downtown North Little Rock. It was built in 1898-99 and the Queen Anne Victorian style is everywhere. It’s very ornate with a three-story tower, beautiful gardens and period pieces on the inside too. It is within walking distance of many of the areas hot spots. It used to host a bed and breakfast but is currently closed for lodging.
Restaurants & Bars:
Some of the best restaurants in the area are found in Argenta. Ristorante Capeo is one of the best Italian restaurants in Central Arkansas. The quirky Staving Artists Cafe shares the vibe of the area and often hosts special, art related events.
Argenta is a bit more laid back than downtown Little Rock, but they have a few great bars. Cregeen’s Irish Pub is a favorite local hangout. Mug’s Cafe is a great local coffee bar. For wine connoisseurs, Crush Wine Bar is a great little wine bar. Beer lovers should head to Flyway Brewing and Diamond Bear Brewery.
Argenta is located near the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum which has the USS Razorback, a tourable submarine, on display. How to tour the Razorback.
You can also bring your kids to Dickey-Stephens Park to see the Arkansas Travelers play. Visiting Dickey-Stephens Park.
Argenta is the home to the Verizon Arena. Many of the restaurants and bars are within walking distance of the arena.
Galleries and Art:
Argenta is full of artistic places. On the third Friday of every month, the THEA foundation sponsors an art walk with open houses and many local artists are on hand to meet you and show off their art.
If you want to make your own art, the Argenta Bead Company (703 Main Street) has beads or designed jewelry for sale. Claytime Pottery (417 Main Street) offers classes as well items for purchase.
It’s easy to do a gallery walk in Argenta. The Greg Thompson Fine Art Gallery (429 Main Street) is huge and represents many Southern artists. The Argenta Gallery (111 W. 7th Street) leases studio space. House of Art (108 E. 4th Street) displays some great local artists.
Locally sourced food is a big deal in Argenta. They have the only Certified Arkansas Farmer’s Market in Central Arkansas. Everything sold at the market was produced in Arkansas. Many times you can actually talk to the farmer’s that produced it. The Farmer’s Market is at 6th and Main Streets in late April through September on Tuesdays and Saturdays. More info on Farmer’s Markets.