We’ve a lot to do here. This will be split into two sections, and when it’s done, you’ll know this downtown like few others.

Few websites can make that claim, friends.

The Bunker School of Architecture regrets to announce the death of a colleague:

What’s interesting about this is the facade behind the facade: it looks reasonably modern itself. The windows above line up with the windows on the street, and the proportions don’t seem to match the style of the 20s. Looks late 30s, early 40s - but it wasn’t enough. Everything had to be smothered up.

An earlier account of the corner.

And . . . today.


The absent buildings seemed larger when they were around.

It may look sad, but hey: shrubs

The more ornate building is usually the first one. In this case the building on the left side is obviously meant to belong with the building in the middle; the cornices overlap like they’re holding hands.

A later shot. The main brick of the building on the right is used as decorative brick on its new sibling.

That poor tree, wondering if it will ever have anything to say to the meters or the light pole. Alike, but so different

Context. The more ornate building wasn’t in the middle of the block, but a bank on a prominent corner.

A bank no more.


NOTE: the building has since been restored. Hurrah!


There are two ways we can do this, pal; the hard way, or the easy way


As I’ve said, every downtown that had one of those metal screens should give it historical designation, because it does speak to a certain period and school of thought. But they cry out for big signs that are usually long gone.


Like this. Goins, goins . . .


Nice upper floors; it’s a shame they had that flood that ruined the ground floor of all the downtown buildings.

The one on the left is ancient; now enjoying its third century. Well, not a total century. You know what I mean.

Oh, no.


Regular readers - or just people who grew up in the South - know the Kress story.

Roadside architecture.com: The Kress in Fort Smith was designed by Seymour Burrell and built in 1911. In 1939, it was given a new facade by Edward F. Sibbert. The store closed in 1974. These photos are from 2008. Since around 2013, the building has been vacant and the storefront has been boarded up.

So: based on what you’ve seen so far . . . what do you think the rest of downtown will be like? Click Next.