|City/Town: • Fayetteville|
|Location Class: • Hospital • Residential|
|Year Built: • 1912 | Year Abandoned: • 2011|
|Status: • Demolished • Gutted|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz • James Kirkendall|
One could be forgiven for mistaking Fayetteville City Hospital for a small school. Built in 1912, the two story brick structure does not call to mind the modern, towering concrete of a building like UAMS. Looking at the building today, in heart of Fayetteville, it seems almost stuck in time; the beautiful columns and brick architecture do not reflect its surroundings and the library across the street could make one believe a school bell could come from the warm, inviting windows and halls.
What stands today, however, is in fact a hospital, and its unique history of renovation throughout its lifetime provides a collage of different time periods it lived through. Renovated six or seven times (depending on who you ask), many rooms contain some of the original 1912 architecture as well as the architecture of each time period it was renovated in. The story is similar for the small building next to it. Originally a church built alongside the hospital, the building was re-purposed in the 1950s as a home for the nurses working next door. It later became a storage and recreational area for the hospital.
Beautiful and inviting on the outside, these structures that once cured and saved the lives of hundreds of Arkansans is now, sadly, in shambles. Worse, there is a major infestation of black mold growing in the basement and top floor. Though much of the building’s interior is in ruin, there remain several rooms that do not appear to be touched by time. Still glowing with bright murals and children’s drawings, these serve as a reminder of the service the building offered for its ninety-nine years of service, twenty of them spent in the Senate Cidery of the Washington Regional Medical System.
The building was abandoned in 2011, official reasons being “The timing of the finalizing of a long-term plan for the hospital and the age and accelerated deterioration of the physical plant.” There was also reportedly a problem with the deficiencies in the building code, 17 found in 2011 alone. Currently, the building is owned by the Fayetteville Public Library System who reportedly plan to demolish the building and repurpose the property into an auditorium for guest speakers and book signings.
Article written by Wells Thompson – AAR staff
With this in mind, we hope that these pictures can serve as an adequate portrait of this incredible, once proud house of healing.