The El Dorado Commercial Historic District
The El Dorado Commercial Historic District is composed of 68 brick and masonry early 20th Century buildings and one monument. Although 17 of the buildings were constructed prior to 1920, the overwhelming appearance of the district derives from the 36 buildings constructed in the 1920s, the period during which El Dorado experienced a surge in population as a result of the discovery of oil nearby.
The centerpiece of the district is the Union County Courthouse, constructed in 1927-28 (NR 06-30-83). The courthouse is a four-story Classical Revival style building of cut limestone block. Located on the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn, at the intersection of Main and Washington Streets, is the El Dorado Confederate Monument (NR 04-26-96).
Although the First Financial Bank building at 214 N. Washington is a nine-story building and the Murphy Building at 200 E. Jefferson is seven stories tall, the majority of the buildings are one- and two-story brick structures with simple ornamentation in corbelled masonry or cast concrete ornament. There are six buildings and one monument in the district previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several of the commercial structures making up the district have been altered at storefront level, but most buildings retain their original appearance in the upper level. Extensive renovation efforts in much of the district have restored the appearance of the streetscape of El Dorado's downtown commercial district to near 1930 appearance, the year by which 76 percent of the buildings in district had been constructed.