The Department of Arkansas Heritage
has submitted construction plans to the Arkansas Building Authority for its new headquarters
at 1100 North St. and hopes to begin work in early September, Melissa Whitfield, communications director, says.
The department will use the footprint of the Muswick Building there now, but will remove the roof to add a second level and add a wing. Using the foundation and walls of the building "will save us over $1 million in building costs," Whitfield said. The site is next to DAH's collection management facility (the former site of the Clinton archives pre-construction of the presidential library).
When finished, the building will be about 34,000 square feet; DAH currently occupies 27,915 square feet in the Tower Building at Fourth and Louisiana streets.
The 1950s facade of the Muswick Building will be torn down; Whitfield said it was simply decorative and not part of the building. Some had wondered if the agency, which includes the state's Historic Preservation office, would leave it as an example of architecture of the era.
The agency bought the 4-acre property for $2.5 million (though it appraised at less than $1 million). Construction is being financed by $7 million in bonds issued by the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority. Witsell Evans Rasco are architects.
Somebody asked about North Street: The plan was first announced in 2013