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Our Neighborhood


Neighborhood History

In the early 1990’s neighbors gathered to form the Pleasant Street Neighborhood and as it grew to address the concerns of the residents, a ground swell of interest developed.  Pleasant Street later became the Gateway Community is a mixed neighborhood comprised of residents, businesses, places of worship, the Hot Springs Convention and Civic Center and many other historical landmarks.


Anchored by the Woodmen of the Union Building on Malvern Avenue off Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Pleasant Street Historic District is an area containing ninety-three buildings representing the once thriving Malvern Avenue business district and its adjacent residential neighborhood.   The neighborhood business district peaked in commercial activity as numerous black-owned hotels, restaurants, physicians’ offices, barber shops, dry cleaners and others thrived alongside white establishments off the resort town’s tourist trade during the 1920s and ‘30s. During its heyday, the prosperous racially-mixed neighborhood encompassed residential and business development on Church, Cottage, Gulpha, Garden and Pleasant Streets, continuing the growth of previous decades as home to businessmen and professionals who helped shape the development of Hot Springs.


Although the business community in the neighborhood has drastically declined and physically changed through demolition of much of Malvern Avenue’s historic building fabric, the residential streets have changed little. The neighborhood, once the center of black life in Hot Springs, is sandwiched between a major thoroughfare (E. Grand Avenue/ U. S. Highway 70), the Convention Center, and the continuously changing Malvern Avenue thoroughfare. A new thoroughfare  has been constructed through portions of the eastern areas of the original historic neighborhood.

The majority of the buildings in the district are largely restrained in detail, but reflect the influences of such architectural styles as the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Moderne, and Minimal Traditional styles.

Become A Member

The Gateway Community Association, formerly the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Association, is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization registered with the State of Arkansas.  Our operations are funded solely by dues from our members and donations.  Dues are $20.00 annually for individuals and $100.00 for businesses and organizations.  If you would like to join our Association, please contact our President, Jean Lacefield at (501) 623-2659 or you can email Jean and request an application at



The Gateway Community Association (GCA) formerly the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Association is a tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Arkansas representing communities bordering historic downtown. We are volunteers who live, work, or own property in the Pleasant Street Historical District and Gateway Community and  we work together to keep the neighborhood clean, safe, and fun.

Gateway Community Association

Board of Directors


Robin Wise

Board President

Phone: (501) 701-0338



Barbara Martin

Vice President

Phone: (501) 282-7653



Jean Lacefield

Interim Treasurer

Phone: (501) 623-2659



Betty West


Phone: (501) 623-6504

Malvern Gateway Proposal


Project Background

The City of Hot Springs, led by its Complete Streets team, is undertaking a planning initiative to redefine three primary entry corridors into the downtown area each as a Complete Street. Conceptualized as a trident entry system, the three corridors—Malvern, Broadway, and Ouachita avenues—are part of a larger Green Infrastructure Plan within the Thermal Basin District. The district also includes two other entry corridors on the north side, Park and Whittington avenues. The city intends to combine Complete Street planning with a larger watershed development approach in the Thermal Basin District. Therefore, the Malvern Avenue project will constitute the first phase of a greater Low Impact Development Hot Springs Creek watershed project to alleviate downtown flooding.  

Project Goal

The goal of this project is to create a Complete Street Master Plan for the Malvern Avenue segment between Grand Avenue and Spring Street, eight blocks in scope, with the support and cooperation of the Gateway Neighborhood Association. The master plan will be developed at a schematic design level. This plan initiates a larger initiative to develop gateways into the city’s Thermal Basin District using a watershed approach. UACDC will work with city staff to advance their studies, already underway, into a developed master plan for funding and implementation.

To view a draft conceptual presentation created by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, click here: .

To view the final draft, which is the completed product after the public comment period, click here:
Malvern Avenue Portfolio



  Policy decisions are made by our members at our monthly meetings.   The         Board of Directors, with support from the members, then works to complete       tasks and implement policies as set by the members.  All actions undertaken     by the Board are reported to the membership at the next regular monthly           Association meeting.

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