After several months of renovations to the building, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History reopened on September 29.
The museum closed in March 2018 for five months of extensive structural work. The $1.5 million renovation for the 178-year old structure included both interior and exterior upgrades. The first phase of the project, which began last December, involved renovation to the north and south porches and was partially funded by a Historic Preservation Restoration Grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The interior renovation includes upgrades to the heating and cooling systems, installation of new lighting, and repainting of interior gallery spaces.
Funding for the renovations came from proceeds of a hotel tax which was approved by Little Rock voters in February 2016.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History was created to interpret our state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present. It is a program of the City of Little Rock’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal–the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur–the museum preserves the contributions of Arkansas men and women who served in the armed forces. Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas’s military history at home and abroad.
In conjunction with the reopening, there will be a belated 125th birthday party for MacArthur Park. (The park actually opened on July 4, 1893.) Originally known as Arsenal Park, it became known as City Park shortly thereafter. In 1942, it was renamed in honor of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was born there. At the time he was commanding US troops in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during World War II.
At ten that day, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb and other officials cut the ribbon to officially reopen the facility.