For more and more people, downtown Little Rock is becoming not only the place to work, but also the place to call home. With downtown Little Rock flourishing from its ongoing renaissance, it is easy to see why so many people choose to center their lives around Little Rock’s urban core. It is host to a wealthy selection of historic and bustling neighborhoods, abundant educational opportunities, and ample access to daily services - downtown Little Rock offers its residents nearly limitless options of ways to live life to the fullest.
Discover downtown Little Rock’s exceptional neighborhoods, each unique in the amenities they offer and in the pace of life they provide.
Entertain a host of friends at your spacious loft apartment that began as a warehouse space; live the grand, yet relaxed life of the 1880s in a majestic Victorian mansion; or relax with an after-dinner drink and your significant other on the balcony of a condominium with a river view. Make your home in a district brimming with history and charm, or plant yourself in the middle of all the action and excitement. Explore the distinct neighborhoods of downtown Little Rock and discover how much they can offer.
River Market District
The River Market District is one of Arkansas’s fastest-growing tourist destinations and one of the most popular areas in the city. From major conventions, concerts, and sporting events to a wide array of hotels, restaurants, and a bustling night life, the District has grown to be the heartbeat of downtown Little Rock.
Main Street Creative Corridor
The Main Street Creative Corridor is the place to be for those wanting to incorporate art and culture into their everyday lives. Home to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Ballet Arkansas, galleries, creative firms, and the Little Rock Technology Park, the Creative Corridor is rapidly becoming a mixed-use, work-live environment that is at once sensitive to the historical context of Little Rock’s Main Street and invigorating to its residents and visitors.
MacArthur Park Historic District
Encompassing about fifty square blocks surrounding historic MacArthur Park, the MacArthur Park Neighborhood was Little Rock’s first neighborhood. While several homes from the 1840’s to the 1860’s still survive, today the area is a mix of residential units, offices and commercial space.
Governor's Mansion Historic District
A beautiful area surrounding the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, the Governor’s Mansion Historic District is a residential downtown neighborhood directly south of downtown’s center, offering a variety of housing options as well as convenient access to high-quality schools, churches, Arkansas Children’s, and the many entertainment and cultural venues of downtown Little Rock.
SoMa, a name referring to the downtown district of South Main, is experiencing renewed interest and reinvestment. SoMa promotes the growth and development of an inclusive, independent and individual population that embraces its past, but is excited about its future in supporting new urban and hip sustainable living.
Once a hub to major industrial endeavors such as foundries, cotton mills, freight yards, lumber yards, brick yards, furniture factories, and a paint factory, today East Village is home to a mixed-use community that boasts the Clinton Presidential Center and Park, Heifer International World Headquarters, popular breweries, delicious restaurants, and much more.
The Capitol Area of today is the hub of Arkansas State Government centering on the State Capitol and numerous state office buildings. The many commercial buildings, along with some residential properties and a few warehouses, distinguish today’s Capitol Neighborhood from its predominately residential past.
Encompassing approximately fifty blocks and roughly triangular in shape, the Capitol Area is at the western proximity of the Central Business District, bounded on the east by Cross Street, on the south by Interstate 630, and on the north and west by the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks. Although predominately an area of government and commercial offices, there is a small contingent of permanent residents still calling the neighborhood home and a new interest in developing residential usage within the area.
A varied mix of architectural styles can be found in this eclectic area, from stately governmental buildings, classic mid-century office buildings and small scale residential architecture, to modern contemporary structures and simple brick and metal warehouses.
Neighboring the River Market, Center City - or the Central Business District (CBD) - is home to the majority of downtown’s businesses. Commercial structures old and new, mixed with apartments and condominiums mingle together to form this thriving district.
The energy can't be beat in Center City as it is home to the city's and state's largest financial institutions, law firms and governmental offices. Historic buildings in the area are being converted into loft apartments and condominiums, serving to diversify and increase the living options in this area. Center City's big city feel and diverse cultural attractions enhance its appeal and make it an attractive location for new residents.
Nestled east of the Governor’s Mansion Historic District and south of the MacArthur Park Historic District, the neighborhood of Pettaway surrounds picturesque Pettaway Park and enjoys close proximity to the burgeoning corridor of SoMa. It also stands at the forefront of the growing green movement, showcasing sustainable and energy-efficient new homes. The neighborhood takes its name from Dr. Charles D. Pettaway, who was the original owner of the land on which the park now sits. The mainly residential community has experienced a recent surge in growth due to city-sponsored housing initiatives. The Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation and other area organizations have helped to reinvigorate the historic neighborhood, attracting new residents and creating a sustainable future.
Dunbar School Historic Neighborhood
Situated between the Governor’s Mansion Historic District and the Central High Neighborhood Historic District, the Dunbar School Historic Neighborhood offers a rich history and myriad educational opportunities, and is expected to be designated a historic district in the near future.
Within the neighborhood are areas that have their own distinct histories, ranging from sites important to Little Rock’s African-American heritage to “Binghampton Heights,” a residential area that developed with the help of streetcar service that attracted residents to purchase lots nestled among pine trees and natural springs.
The neighborhood is anchored by three educational institutions: Dunbar Middle School, Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies, and Philander Smith College. It also boasts a popular complex housing a public library, community center, and garden. A fine art gallery and medical clinic currently call the neighborhood home.
The Dunbar School Historic Neighborhood offers a comprehensive collection of late 19th and early 20th century architectural styles ranging from vernacular “shotgun” cottages to 21-room mansions. Styles include Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Dutch Revival, Italianate, and brick ranch style houses. An architectural survey is underway to gain historic district status for the neighborhood.
Hanger Hill Neighborhood
The Hanger Hill neighborhood encompasses approximately forty blocks in downtown Little Rock, east of Interstate 30. It is in close proximity to City Center, the River Market entertainment district, and the Clinton Center and Heifer International headquarters, with easy access to several interstate highways, the airport, schools, hospitals and shopping.
The neighborhood began life as farmland in the country east of downtown Little Rock and was the location of St. Johns College, the estate of William E. Woodruff (founder and editor of the Arkansas Gazette), and the estate of Peter Hanger for whom the neighborhood was ultimately named. The majority of the existing residential structures in the neighborhood date from the early 20th century and include a variety of architectural styles including simple shotgun houses, plain turn of the century Victorian cottages, Colonial Revival cottages, Craftsman style houses, English Revival style homes, pre-WWII houses and unusually, a series of homes constructed of precast concrete blocks dating to about 1907.
While the Hanger Hill neighborhood suffered a decline in population over the years, an active neighborhood association has established a National Register Historic District in the 1500 block of Welch Street (The Hanger Hill Historic District) and is working diligently to encourage rehabilitation and beautification of this historic area.
From private to public and daycare to college, downtown Little Rock is in close proximity to every type of educational facility imaginable. As downtown offers many options and is home to some of the best schools in the state, you are sure to find one that fits your needs. Add top notch libraries and educational centers to the equation, and you’ll easily estimate that downtown provides outstanding learning opportunities for toddlers, seniors, and everyone in between.
As in other cities, Little Rock’s downtown churches, some dating back to the early 1800’s, have undergone tremendous changes in the last fifty years. With new high rise condominiums, the revitalization of the MacArthur Park and SoMa areas, and an exciting new momentum in downtown living, Little Rock’s urban churches are stepping up and stepping in to proactively have a voice in the growing need to redefine a sense of community and tradition downtown.