U.S. Arsenal Building (Arkansas)
Built in 1840, the U.S. Arsenal Building in Little Rock, Arkansas is the 1st military installation in the city. As the last remaining structure of the Little Rock Arsenal, this building is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur, a supreme Commander in the South Pacific during World War II.
Backstory and Context
The arsenal was originally built to protect the then Oklahoma Territory from Native Americans and held ammunition. After the Civil War, the arsenal was renamed the Little Rock Barracks and served as a place of residence for married officers and their families; front and back porches were added, as well as interior walls, and stairs. In 1893, the building was traded to the city of Little Rock on the grounds that it would be set in a public park; today, that park is known as MacArthur Park. The Little Rock Æsthetic Club moved into the building in 1894 and is still headquartered there today. IN 1912, Little Rock’s first Public Library was located on the building’s 2nd floor.