• Front facade of Little Rock Central High School

    Little Rock Central High School

    National Historic Site Arkansas

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Restricted Access to Central High School

    All park visitors, including tour buses, must park in the Visitor Center parking lot at 2120 West Daisy Gatson Bates Drive. Street parking is reserved for Little Rock School District buses and parents. Visitors may enter the school only on guided tours.

  • Holiday Closings

    The National Historic Site Visitor Center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1. The Visitor Center may close at 2:30 PM on the day before each of these federal holidays. The Visitor Center number is 501.374.1957.

Frequently Asked Questions

Little Rock Central High School
Little Rock Central High School
NPS Photo/LRCHS EAST Lab
 

Is Little Rock Central High School still an operating high school?

Yes. The school is a 4-year public high school with approximately 2,400 students.

How many students attended Central High School in 1957?

The student body in 1957 numbered approximately 1,800 students. Within the last few years, the Little Rock School District moved to a middle school system, which means 9th graders now attend Central. In the 1950s, the school included only grades 10-12.

What is the racial makeup of the school today?

The student body at Central High School is approximately 54% Black and 43% White.

Can I tour the high school?

Tours of the school are conducted for groups of 10 or more by reservation. Because the school is still owned and operated by the Little Rock School District, tours are only conducted during normal school hours when school is in session.

Are the Little Rock Nine all still alive?

Yes. The members of the Little Rock Nine live throughout the United States and the Netherlands.

Was Central High the first school in Arkansas to desegregate?

No. Charleston schools and Fayetteville High School (both in the northwest part of the state) desegregated in the fall of 1954 after the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Hoxie School District, in Northeast Arkansas, desegregated its schools in 1955 and obtained a court injunction preventing segregationists from interfering with desegregation there. In 1956, Bentonville (in Northwest Arkansas) desegregated all 12 grades and Hot Springs (in Central Arkansas) desegregated its high school automotive classes.

When was Central High School Built?

Little Rock Central High School was built in 1927 at a cost of $1.5 million (that's approximately $17.8 million in 2007 dollars.)

Did You Know?

Science lab at Dunbar High School, circa 1942

Dunbar High School served as the school for African American students in Little Rock prior to desegregation. Today, it is a magnet middle school and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site