In 1897 thirty Arkadelphia women organized the Woman’s Library Association with the goal of establishing a public library in the city. Today their accomplishment stands as one of the oldest library buildings in the state. The group began by collecting books and loaning them for free in the private home of the association’s president. To house their growing collection they rented a commercial building and began fundraising in order to construct a library. Little Rock architect Thompson designed the building, and James Pullen was the builder. The small square red brick building with lower flanking wings (added later) has a pedimented portico with four fluted Ionic columns supporting a wide entablature that surrounds the entire building. Semicircular arched windows have limestone sills and keystones. In the early twentieth century, most libraries, as here, were classical in style because of classicism’s cultural associations. The wings added to the building’s sides are in keeping with Thompson’s design, but another and later addition to the rear is not harmonious with the original exterior. In 1939 the library was sold to the City and, in 1974, the building and its contents were transferred to the Clark County Library Board.
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Clark County Library
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