Stone designed this large multipurpose civic center as a modernized classical temple surrounded by columns and raised on a podium. The building contains the city hall, the city library, an art and theater center, and the fire and police departments. It was a component of Pine Bluff’s 1960s urban renewal program.
Composed of three units unified and linked by courtyards, with parking below the podium, the civic center is set far back from the street and surrounded by lawns. In his design for this building, Stone essentially repeats the formula of a colonnaded temple-like structure on a podium he used for the 1959 U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, a building that cemented his career as an architect of international significance. The civic center’s most distinctive feature is the colonnade of 130 slender cast-concrete columns and their umbrella-shaped concrete vaults that border the podium and enclose the entire complex. The center is covered by a flat roof that seems to hover above it. The building’s isolation in the middle of its vast flat site and the light color of buff brick and white concrete give the center the monumentality Stone sought. His son, Stone Jr., was the landscape architect for this project, which included the courtyards, although his landscaping has been altered. This civic center was the only project in Arkansas where he teamed up with his father. Interior designer Martin Van Buren of Charlotte, North Carolina, planned the furnishings for the complex.