Pine Bluff, Arkansas’s economic recovery plan revolves around historic preservation, revitalization efforts

by Jamie Moody Marketing Director Anyone who has been through downtown Pine Bluff lately knows the grand old lady on the Arkansas River saw her heyday many, many moons ago. In fact, she’s fallen into such disrepair that an article this week in Arkansas Business notes that one member of the city’s economic development team once courted AMC’s popular zombie series The Walking Dead to use the floundering downtown business district as a set for the show. But a new program called Go Forward in Pine Bluff is hoping to jump start the revitalization efforts in the Delta city by re-purposing the once-elegant Hotel Pines, itself an architectural gem designed by famed Arkansas architect George R. Mann. The project spans an entire ecosystem of architects and engineers, and engages local firms WER Architects/Planners and East Harding Construction, both of Little Rock. The story in AB – read it here on the jump – notes that additional restoration efforts would focus on other architecturally significant buildings in Pine Bluff like the Masonic Temple and the Saenger Theatre where Harry Houdini once performed. Historic preservation work is not new to WER Architects, who’s portfolio includes the historic restoration of the Curran Hall in Little Rock and the Courthouse at Old Washington, Arkansas. East Harding brings a strong portfolio of historic preservation work to the table as well – the firm has more than 20 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Utilization of Autodesk software like Revit and ReCap 360 Pro are making daunting projects like the revitalization of the Hotel Pines possible and easier. Autodesk Revit Live’s simplified workflow from Revit to the Cloud to Revit Live to 3D model are making it possible to see past the zombies downtown Pine Bluff once saw as inevitable and instead see this once vital river port city come alive again.

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