Urban Progress Association

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The Urban Progress Association was a businessman's organization formed on May 31, 1959. About three hundred people attended the first meeting and pledged to work together to modernize the city core. The first meeting of Urban Progress was held in conjunction with the first meeting of the group Downtown Little Rock Unlimited, which dedicated itself to "saving" Main Street, then in decline. The two groups met in the Marion Hotel. J. Wythe Walker spoke for Urban Progress and Frank Lyon spoke on behalf of Downtown Little Rock Unlimited.

Said Walker at the first meeting, "We believe that a prosperous Little Rock needs growing shopping facilities on the perimeter of the city as well as a healthy central business district; that each is dependent on the other; that, like Siamese twins, neither can grow without the other." Prominent attendees at the 1959 meeting were Jack East Jr., Raymond Rebsamen, Houston Burford, Louis Munos, Arthur Phillips, Hugo Heiman, and Sam Strauss.

The two groups merged into Little Rock Unlimited Progress in April 1970.


  • Bob Sallee, "Decrying Downtown's Demise," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 17, 1997.

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