Grittiness is a word that has both negative and positive connotations. In today's world, I think it is generally used more often in the context of a compliment, that is, something or someone showing toughness and perseverance, perhaps exhibiting some scars gained
from life's struggles. When it comes to projects on which we're involved, often a historic building that certainly shows its age, "grittiness" is something we don't necessarily want to lose. In historic preservation, in most cases, we're not aiming to turn back the clock and remove all evidence of normal wear and tear. In many instances, its preferred to allow those imperfections to stay put. It is a tangible object that allows generations today to interact with generations long gone. And, whether we recognize it consciously or not, it stirs our minds to consider our own place in time--which then forces bigger questions. Indeed, our historic buildings are necessary to a healthy civilization.
It is with this in mind that we are pleased to share these photos, taken by Janet Warlick, of the recently completed Buffalo River Historic Jail & Museum located in Marshall, Arkansas. It was the old Searcy County jail, generations ago, but is now home to a wonderful little museum that tells important stories--and you can be sure to find important lessons within.
See the photos here.
Better yet, plan a trip to Marshall, Arkansas, and see it/touch it for yourself.