Centennial Park occupies once city block in a densely-developed area of central Little Rock. The park is situated on the site previously occupied by the Centennial Public School. Designed in 1894 by Little Rock architect Thomas Harding, the school building featured a two-story bell tower entrance. In 1971, when the building was demolished to make way for the new park, the bell tower was preserved to provide a focal point and historical marker for the park. Development of recreational facilities began in 1973 with major funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.