You are here

Fraley’s Montgomery Ward Building

-A A +A
1929. 120 N. Willow St.
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage)

Builder J. W. Bass and contractor William G. Clark, who constructed the Lyric Theater (BO2), were responsible for this distinctive building. Even after almost eighty years the sophistication of the two-story facade clad in the then-popular materials of the decade—buff and brown brick, glass, and white glazed terra-cotta ornamented with green and buff terra-cotta insets—is remarkable. The parapet is finished with steps and curves, ball finials, and green terra-cotta swags. A cartouche in the central bay depicts a bas-relief female figure balancing on one foot on a globe and lifting a lighted torch. Rendered in white tile on a green tile background, this representation of the Spirit of Progress (and based on a nineteenth-century statue of the goddess Diana) was a symbol of the Montgomery Ward company, appearing on its storefronts and catalogues. The building is one of the few survivors of the Crooked Creek flood of 1961, although the creek’s waters swept through the store’s back door and carried merchandise out the front. Originally, the single large room of the first floor was divided into several small rooms to showcase furniture in various settings, but the original square stucco-covered steel columns still rise from the first through the second floor.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


What's Nearby


Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Fraley’s Montgomery Ward Building", [Harrison, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 76-76.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,