Plans Revealed for Restoration of Mosaic Templars State Temple

Department of Arkansas Heritage - Thursday, April 26, 2018 2018 - Thursday, April 26, 2018

On April 23, Governor Asa Hutchinson and Stacy Hurst, state historic preservation officer and director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), revealed the restoration, rehabilitation and occupation plans for the Mosaic Templars State Temple building, the last remaining building built by the Mosaic Templars of America.

DAH purchased the building in March 2017 for $950,000. Jameson Architects is responsible for the renovation design. Bids for construction are being accepted through May 8.

During the announcement, Governor Asa Hutchinson remarked on the value of preservation, saying, “this building itself is worthy of being preserved because its construction in 1921 represented the triumph of African-American people, whose business enterprise served their community.”

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and the Arkansas Health Services Permit Agency will occupy the building at 906 S. Broadway St. after renovations, which are expected to be complete by October of this year.

“The Department of Arkansas Heritage works to preserve and protect unique aspects of our history such as this special cultural icon,” said Stacy Hurst. “Many people and groups worked together to see this building saved, and today marks the beginning of its rehabilitation.”

Attendees also heard from Dushun Scarbrough, Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission director, and Tracy Steele, Health Services Permit Agency director.

The building served as state headquarters for the Mosaic Templars of America. It stands next door to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, where the Mosaic Templars of America National Grand Temple once stood.