National Preservation Month Feature: The Hill
By Anthony Cisneros, Planner
Posted on May 23, 2022, May 23, 2022

Did you know that May is Historic Preservation Month? Throughout the month of May, the Landmark Preservation Commission is featuring historic sites and structures to highlight Arlington’s unique history. Share your favorite pieces of Arlington history on your social media or by email to [email protected]!

May is National Preservation Month! It's a month dedicated to preserving places that have historical significance. One of Arlington’s most historic neighborhoods, The Hill, lies within a 5-block neighborhood just north of Downtown Arlington. The Hill was the only historic addition platted specifically for Arlington’s African American residents. Some of Arlington's earliest known Black residents still have descendants who remain active in the Hill community today. These descendants are also a link to Tarrant County's antebellum era.

Postwar changes to the Hill saw many residents leave the community for better job opportunities and better housing options. When General Motors opened its local factory in 1953, several of Arlington’s Black residents were hired to work at the plant. 

Throughout most of its history, the Hill was socially, as well as physically, segregated from the rest of Arlington. In 1932, the school board decided that those who wanted to attend high school could commute to I. M. Terrell in Fort Worth. Hospitals and churches were among other local institutions that followed segregation practices during this period.

The Hill powered itself as a thriving community through its own churches, schools, restaurants, and night clubs. Despite the city's surrounding segregation, the Hill became a regional destination for the African Americans who lived in Mosier Valley, Bear Creek, and Garden of Eden.

A planned five-part original documentary series titled “Echoes from The Hill” will explore what life was like for Black residents in this small community within Arlington. The trailer for the documentary’s introductory episode about the history of the community, titled “A Place of Our Own,” was released Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The Arlington Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, which sponsored the documentary, is planning to premiere the historic film during a ticketed event set for 7 p.m. Friday, June 18, 2022, at the Arlington ISD Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The public will also be able to watch the documentary at free screenings that will be held each hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at the City Council Chamber, at City Hall, 101 W. Abram St. The screenings are part of several activities planned for the 2nd annual Arlington Juneteenth Jubilee.

More details can be found at

People pose for pictures at Arlington's Mount Olive Baptist Church in the late 1960s.

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