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Historic Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station

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c. 1937, Noland Van Powell; 2010 restored, Hord Architects. 109 N. 5th St.

This bus station is the only remaining Art Moderne Greyhound bus terminal in Arkansas, which in itself makes it exceptional, but it is also noteworthy for its colorful and eye-catching exterior in this small-town setting. The exterior facade of blue Vitrolux structural glass panels and ivory detailing remains intact. The building’s narrow front is curved at corners of the facade with wraparound windows, and the curves are repeated in the shape of the canopies sheltering the entrance and the side walls. Greyhound’s distinctive vertical sign with the company’s name written in white letters on a blue background rises above the entrance canopy and at its top is the image of a racing greyhound, the company’s logo. The logo and the building’s curved forms all convey an appropriate impression of movement and speed. Until 1963, the station’s original plan reflected the racial segregation of its time, with a central ticket office and an adjacent kitchen area separating two sets of facilities (waiting rooms, bathrooms, and lunch counters). The facilities for blacks were smaller than those for whites and were unadorned. After federal desegregation the spaces for the black patrons were converted for storage and freight. Blytheville is the county seat, and its location on a major north–south route and proximity to the Mississippi River made it a busy cotton-shipping port. The bus station closed in the late 1990s and was restored by Hord Architects of Memphis for use as a visitor center.

Writing Credits

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

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Historic Blytheville Greyhound Bus Station", [Blytheville, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-MS3.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 233-233.

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