Diana McDaniel Hampo
A Trashed Out Vision of Elegance and Hope
I love the people willing to invest in Hot Springs! They are brave and visionary. Recently, a
local realtor, Chris Rix, bought an old motel on Park Avenue. The Perry Plaza, a trashed out disaster from the 40s.
My father, I Granger McDaniel, and his dad, Irven Donald McDaniel designed it right after my dad came home from four years in a Nazi POW Camp. It's a beautiful example of their work then, with lots of poured concrete (the place is a bomb shelter) and those wonderful corner windows. It's on the National Register for Historic Places, which is cool.
But Chris took on this enormous and costly task. Perry Plaza is moldy and filthy, filled with gross trash and scary stuff. But the bones are still good because of all that poured concrete. Chris has a vision and there's no doubt he will find a way to turn it into a gorgeous Hot Springs treasure. But man, it's gonna take some work. Don't think for a minute this is a "remodel" job. It's restoration, renovation, rebirth, regeneration and renewal.
I told Chris a story about Perry Plaza. My dad died when I was
16. When I went to college I got a check every month from Perry Plaza for $26 dollars. I guess they still owed him for the design work. That doesn't sound like much but in 1980 I could take all my friends out for beers and pizza with $26 dollars. It was great!
Park Avenue is one of the most iconic and historic streets in Arkansas. The new Perry Plaza will only add to it's ever growing shine!
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