These two large limestone public buildings anchor this part of downtown Eureka Springs. They span the deep ravine cut by Leatherwood Creek which flows in a tunnel beneath all the buildings on this entire part of Main Street.
This view shows South Main Street toward Basin Park
in the 1890s before the Auditorium was built. The large Southern Hotel is shown in the center. This very early lodging survived all the great fires in the 1880s and 1890s which destroyed most of the town's early wooden buildings. It had grown to over 100 rooms when it too burned in 1933.
[Photo 2.]Carroll County Western District Courthouse
is viewed here shortly after construction in 1908. Note the deep ravine on both sides. When the ravine was filled for parking, a "moat" was left around the lower level. A bronze plaque in front tells the Courthouse story.
The whole town turned out for the Auditorium Groundbreaking Ceremony
on April 11, 1928. This view is toward the north from the Courthouse. The Auditorium was opened by the John Philip Sousa Orchestra on September 13, 1929. It offered a spacious theater and a basement gymnasium which served local schools until the 1960s. It was renovated in 2005 with a matching U.S. Department of the Interior Save America's Treasures grant.
In The Neighborhood
Rock House Cave:
Across from The Auditorium is a wooden stairway which is actually Rock House Avenue, a city street. Up the stairs, behind the building is Rock House Cave, viewed only from the stairway. It was said to be a hospital during the Civil War where injured soldiers were treated with water from Basin Spring. In early rough days of Eureka Springs, it was the popular Rock House Saloon.
Photographs courtesy of the Cornerstone Bank of Eureka Springs, Eureka Springs Historical Museum and the Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library.