People will often drive past or walk by an old building in their city without giving it a second thought. For some, an old building is such a constant fixture that they forget about the events that took place inside it or stop noticing the beauty and originality of the design. And for still others, an old building is an impediment to progress.

For Parker Westbrook, the past was worth treasuring and preserving. Because of the work of Westbrook, many communities across Arkansas have rescued many historic buildings from the ravages of time and neglect and restored them to their original glory.

Dr. Ken Bridges is a Professor of History at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado. He has written seven books and his columns appear in more than 85 papers in two states. Dr. Bridges can be contacted by email at