Renovations and new development
in Downtown Fort Smith are honoring the City’s rich history.
Recently completed projects include more than $55 million in improvements
to the Fort Smith Convention Center, Riverfront Development project
and Garrison Avenue. The expanded Convention Center, with the Arkansas
Best Performing Arts Center and Riverfront Development are a tremendous
asset and a valuable resource to more than 250,000 Regional residents.
Approximately $4.2 million in Garrison Avenue Streetscape improvements—landscaping,
sidewalks, signage—have further enhanced a rejuvenated Downtown
Living in Fort Smith
will put you in the middle of one of the fastest growing business corridors
in Mid-America. The Fort Smith Regional Airport recently unveiled a
new $20 million, 53,000 square foot terminal with air carriers, American
Airlines and Northwest Airlines.
Belle Grove Historic District
A unique part of Downtown Fort Smith is the Belle Grove
Historic District. Comprising a 22-square block area, the beautiful
Belle Grove District is on the National Register of Historic Places
and is the largest and oldest such District in Arkansas.
Judge Parker's Courtroom -
National Historic Site
At the Fort Smith National
Historic Site you can walk where soldiers drilled, pause along
the Trail of Tears, and stand where justice was served. The park includes
the remains of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western
District of Arkansas. Exhibits in the visitor center focus on Fort Smith’s
military history from 1817 – 1871 and western expansion. Showcased
is a replica of Judge Isaac C. Parker’s courtroom and the federal
court’s impact on Indian Territory, U.S. Deputy Marshals and outlaws,
Federal Indian policy, and Indian Removal including the Trail of Tears.
Located on the grounds
are the foundation remains of the first Fort Smith (1817-1824), the
Commissary building (c. 1838) and a reconstruction of the Judge Parker’s
gallows used by the federal court. A walking trail along the Arkansas
River includes wayside exhibits on the Trail of Tears.
Fort Smith Main
Thanks to the voters
of Fort Smith the city received the gift of a new Public Library system
with four library locations. The Fort Smith Main Public Library was
showcased on the cover of the architectural issue of Library Journal
in December of 2001. Conveniently located are the three 11,000 square
foot branch locations. The new main library building has many features
of more space for collections of books, tapes, and videos; more public
access computers; more areas for public meetings; expanded genealogy
area and resources; a place for computer classes; more room for children's
collection and activities as well as a separate space for young adults'
books and computers; a larger publication reading area; a place for
selling used books and another for snacks and refreshments.