Mosaic Templars Building Preservation Society (MTBPS)
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is a project long overdue. In 1992, a group of concerned citizens fought to save the Mosaic Templars of America Headquarters building in Little Rock, Arkansas, from the wrecking ball. This group formed the Mosaic Templars Building Preservation Society with the "purpose of securing and rehabilitating" the structure, which was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1990.
Built in 1913, the original building was one of three structures constructed on the corner of West Ninth and Broadway Streets in downtown Little Rock by the Mosaic Templars of America organization. In 1993, the City of Little Rock purchased the building in order to save this historic structure. In 2001, the Mosaic Templars Building Preservation Society, with the help of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus, fulfilled its mission by successfully convincing the Arkansas General Assembly to support the rehabilitation of the building and create the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise, the fourth museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
In January 2005, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on the 1st floor of the Headquarters Building. Rehabilitation began the following month. A catastrophic fire on March 16, 2005 destroyed the historic structure. The once majestic brick structure was leveled and many feared that the decade long struggle to save the building and have a museum of African American history in Arkansas was over. But the Department of Arkansas Heritage immediately committed to move forward with the project and build a new structure on the historic site. Construction on the new facility began in November 2005 and was completed in September 2008.
The Center is the first attempt by Arkansas's State Government to share the history of Arkansas's African American community with a broad audience. By focusing on the successes within the African American community in business, politics, and the arts, MTCC serves as a mechanism for sharing the history and culture of Arkansas's African Americans and inspiring future generations.
To learn more about the society and how you can help, visit http://www.mosaictemplarspreservation.org/.