The historical, cultural and aesthetic heritage of the City of Arab, Alabama is among its most valued and important assets. In order to provide for the designation, protection, preservation and rehabilitation of historic properties and historic districts and to participate in federal or state programs to do the same, the Arab Historic Preservation Commission was established in January, 2013.

The "This Place Matters" program was launched to recognize specific historic buildings and places, and to increase public awareness of the importance of preserving Arab’s history.

During 1890 a frame school house was built which was subsequently sold in 1898 to J.R.N. Thompson. He enlarged it and made this his home until Alva Thompson inherited it. Alva made it into a 22-room hotel which opened in 1936. Because the bridge at Whitesburg opened, the road through Arab became part of the shortest route to Florida, bringing tourists. The building closed during the 1970’s and was added to the National Registry of Building in America to be preserved in 1986. It was being converted to a private residence when it burned in 1989.

Some of Arab’s most historic treasures have already been lost, due to neglect or other causes. The Arab Historic Preservation Commission is endeavoring to keep for future generations what is significant from their community’s past.


The Arab Historic Preservation Commission meets at Arab City Hall, 740 North Main Street, at 6:00 p.m., every second Tuesday of each month.


Initial members were appointed by the Mayor, and subsequent members will be appointed by the Arab City Council. Members serve three (3) year staggered terms.

Contact Info

PDF Downloads

Map of the Arab Historical District
General Design Guidelines
Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)