Historic Cane Hill College, located in Canehill Arkansas, is a 2-story brick Italianate design building that served as the state’s first institution of higher learning and has been fully restored back to its original 1886 design.
Following college closure in 1891 the building continued to be used for religious services and primary education. Likely suffering from some disrepair, it was heavily altered in 1931. New larger window openings were created and patchwork was carried out with modern bright red bricks and Portland cement. These inappropriate alterations created long term structural problems.
By 2014 the building was in serious disrepair, with the second story auditorium unusable. WER began a three phase restoration project on the College.
Phase 1 included foundation underpinning. Phase 2 of the restoration included replacement of later era windows with custom made wood windows to match the original ones based off old photographs, brick masonry repair, foundation stabilization and a new cedar shingle roof. Phase 3 will begin this Spring and include interior work, as well as site plan changes.
Cane Hill College has been awarded a 2017 Arkansas Preservation Excellence Award in Preservation Through Restoration and a 2017 Excellence in Interior Design Silver Award for Historic Renovation.