William J. Clinton Presidential Center
The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is located within a new 28-acre public park along the south bank of the Arkansas River, directly east of downtown Little Rock.
The integrated architectural and site design transforms a former
industrial site of old warehouses and undeveloped open space into a
singular destination that is an integral element in the
revitalization and expansion of downtown Little Rock.
Central to its development is the riverfront park, which links
to and extends the existing chain of parks along the river.
Included within the park are areas ranging from active zones,
including a grass amphitheater, playground, and seasonal festival
grove to the west, to quieter, more natural spaces closer to the
City to the east.
The main body of the Center is perpendicular to the river and elevated off the ground plane, allowing the new park to flow uninterrupted underneath. Clad in glass and metal, the building's bridge-like form emphasizes connections, and is a reference to Little Rock's distinctive "Six Bridges."
The main feature inside is a naturally lit 240-foot-long, 40-foot-high exhibition space.
In addition to the permanent exhibition hall, the building
contains a temporary exhibition gallery, an education and media
center, a Great Hall for symposia, dinners and receptions, a cafe
and gift shop, and a replica of the Oval Office.
Contrasting with the aerial quality of the "bridge building," is
the earthbound nature of the archive building, clad in stone and
concrete, which is linked to the main building. While the documents
and objects of the presidential archive are located in a secure,
below-grade environment, the archivists occupy the light-filled
glass and steel research facility above.
Two historic structures on the site, the Rock Island Railroad
Bridge and the 1899 Choctaw Station, have been transformed into
integral parts of the Presidential Center complex, expanding its
outreach and furthering its connection to the City. The bridge is
employed as a pedestrian crossing, linking the site to North Little
Rock, and the refurbished Choctaw Station houses the Clinton Public
Policy Institute and Clinton School of Public Service.
Facts about William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Bridge Building: 80,000 ft2
Archive Building: 70,000 ft2
Choctaw Station renovated space: 13,200 ft2
Park: 30 ac
Polshek Partnership Architects
Richard M. Olcott FAIA, Design Partner
James S. Polshek FAIA, Design Partner
Joseph L. Fleischer FAIA, Partner-in-Charge
Kevin P. McClurkan AIA, Project Manager
Richard M. Olcott
James S. Polshek
Joseph L. Fleischer
Kevin P. McClurkan
Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects, Ltd.
William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation
Last updated: December 19, 2013
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