Protests to preserve the past could not stop progress in Bentonville on Thursday, May 12th, as the first of two historic homes were demolished.
What was once the parsonage house for Central Baptist Church is now a pile of rubble. The home located at 701 West Central Avenue has been leveled and the neighboring ictorian home at 703 will be next. The two homes are rich in Bentonville’s history. City officials say they were purchased by a private party. And while no ordinances or laws have been broken in their destruction, those trying to hold onto the historic charm of downtown question the motives. “Why, why could you not have built someplace else why could you not go to the outskirts of town. There’s been a bad precedence set in Bentonville. There seems to be more interest in progress than preserving the history” said Randy Mccrory who considers himself a Benton County historian.
Mccrory says the demolished house sits on the national historical register. But Bentonville Planning Commissioner, Jim Grider said that does not prevent the home from being torn down.