Set back behind an expansive parking lot, the library is a large, long, arc-shaped building, positioned to fit into its awkward but prominent site at a major intersection. The two-story red brick library is anchored at the center by a cylindrical entrance tower that rises several feet above the body of the building. The tower helps mark the entrance, which might get lost in the rather endless facade. Tall windows in the upper section of the cylinder fill the interior rotunda with light filtered through stained glass. A monumental stairway in the rotunda leads to the second floor. The postmodern classic design by the Minneapolis firm makes reference to Fort Smith’s Carnegie library of 1907 in its classical styling and use of red brick, and the rotunda serves as a surrogate for the 1907 building’s dome. The former Carnegie library, now a TV studio, at N. 13th and N. D streets, has suffered major alterations, which include the addition of a massive pedimented portico.
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Fort Smith Public Library
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