Welcome to the Historic Fayetteville Square! For nearly 200 years it has been the heart of the city, the center for meetings, markets, parades and rallies. It has been burned down, shot at, blown away, and even deliberately destroyed in the name of progress, but has come back every time as an ever-evolving commercial and social hub for the citizens of Fayetteville.

Tour Stop 1

Fayetteville Visitors' Bureau

We'll start at the Fayetteville Visitors Bureau building – as far as we know it's the 4th building on this corner.

The original town lot was purchased by James Byrnside in 1836, and his large log house became a well-known tavern and hotel that was also the ticket office for the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach company that connected St. Louis withSan Francisco in the late 1850's.

Tour Stop 2

RiffRaff/Sutton Building

Although there was originally a 1-story wooden grocery store on this site, behind the covered-up building next door is a 2-story brick building built about 1895 by George Sutton. He sold harnesses and saddles on the first floor and rented the 2nd floor for a tailor shop. 

Tour Stop 3

Campbell Bell Building

The recent home of KNWA television station for many years, this was the Campbell-Bell clothing and dry goods store for over 70 years. The original building underneath the newer façade dates to 1895.

Tour Stop 4

Town & Country / A. Stone Building

Anybody know what "queensware" is? Well, that's what was sold in this location from the 1880's until the 1920's. Along with silverware,"queensware" refers to items for the home.

Tour Stop 5

Mrs S.J. Young Building

Without a doubt, this is one of the favorite buildings on the square. It has an amazingly preserved metal façade and is pretty unique in that it was contracted to be built by a woman in 1887.

Tour Stop 6

Bank of Fayetteville

Next to Mrs. Young's building we have what is probably the other most iconic building on the Fayetteville Square.

Tour Stop 7

Walker-Stone House

David Walker was born in Kentucky and arrived in Fayetteville in late 1830, broke and needing work. He was trained in law and soon began his Arkansas law career with the Crawford County Circuit. From there he became a prosecuting attorney, member of the territorial legislature and constitutional convention, state senator, and an Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice. 

Tour Stop 8

Central Fire Station

Speaking of modern architecture, this central fire station was designed by local architect T. Ewing Shelton in 1964. Shelton's first project in Fayetteville was the 1936 renovation of the Wolf Building into the City Administration Building (which we'll see later in this tour). In addition to numerous other local commercial and institutional buildings, he designed three smaller Fayetteville fire stations in this same style.

Tour Stop 9

Fayetteville Female Seminary site

Fayetteville has long been known for its emphasis on education. On the far corner to the south, where you see the 2-story Victorian house, is the site of a log building built in 1841 for the Fayetteville Female Seminary.

Tour Stop 10

Ridge House

We mentioned the Ridge family earlier – here is their house, and it is Fayetteville's oldest-known home site. Believe it or not, an original 1-story log house is encased inside the 2-story clapboard structure you see today.

Tour Stop 11

Rieff House

Heavily remodeled by T. Ewing Shelton in 1941 when purchased by Moore's Funeral Home, this house was built in 1857 and was the home of Henry & Sarah Rieff. The house was originally very similar in appearance to the Walker-Stone House across the street.

Tour Stop 12

Mt. Nord

In the distance to the north you can see Mt. Nord, Fayetteville’s premier residential address in the early 1900’s. Between 1905 and 1908, five houses were built on the top of the hill, four of which survive today. The red house with the white trim on the left was built by A.M. Byrnes in 1905 for J.E. Mock, but most people know it as the longtime home of newspaper publisher, columnist, bank president, successful business owner and civic crusader Roberta Waugh Fulbright.

Tour Stop 13

Eason Building / First Federal Savings

The northwest corner of the square originally consisted of one and two story wooden store buildings that contained a restaurant, cobbler shop, confectionary and butcher shop. But that all changed dramatically in late 1888 due to one of Fayetteville's most prominent citizens – Lafayette Gregg.

Tour Stop 14

McIlroy/First National Bank Building

Believe it or not, hidden behind this 1960's façade is a brick and stone Richardsonian Romanesque 2-story building that originally had stone arches, turrets, and what appeared to be a large metal pyramid-shaped topknot somewhat similar to what is now on the current Bank of Fayetteville across the street.

Tour Stop 15

Peacock & Pendleton Building

Behind the right-hand side of the newer metal façade may be the oldest brick building on the square, it's hard to tell. In 1871, David Walker built a 2-story brick drug store for John Peacock and J. Crow Pendleton that might still be hiding in there. It was built on the site of one of Fayetteville's first businesses – the John Lewis blacksmith shop that was here in 1837.

Tour Stop 16

Old Post Office

A lot of history has happened right here, and this is at least the fifth building to sit on this site. Sixth, if you count a bandstand that was here between Courthouse #4 and the Post Office building you see here today.

Tour Stop 17

Bozarth Building/Grabills

Believe it or not, parts of the building behind the marble towers date to 1878. Originally a 2-story brick building built by William Bozarth, it has housed boots & shoes, books, confectionary, notions, furniture, groceries, barber shop and clothing on the first floor. Buie's Brunswick Billiard Hall was on the second floor, followed later by Grabill's and then Sowder's Photography Studio.

Tour Stop 18

UA Center for Continuing Education

The first building on the corner across the street was a grocery store built by one of the first settlers, William McGarrah, shortly after he purchased the lot in 1836.

Tour Stop 19

Washington County Courthouse

At the end of the street is one of the favorite postcard views of Fayetteville, featuring the Washington County Courthouse completed in 1905. Designed by Little Rock architect Charles L. Thompson, it replaced the 1869 Courthouse that had been on the Square. The contractor was George W. Donaghey who built many of the buildings on the University of Arkansas campus, and who became governor of Arkansas in 1909.

Tour Stop 20

Butterfield Overland Mail Company site

Just to the left of the courthouse was the site of the stables for the Butterfield Overland Mail Company from 1858-1861. The Butterfield Overland Stage Company had more than 800 people in its employ, had 139 relay stations, 1800 head of stock and 250 Concord Stagecoaches in service at one time.

Tour Stop 21

East Side of the Square
(East Square Plaza Building)

The area around the Fayetteville Square has been subjected to two periods of great destruction. The First Destruction was in the 1860's – in 1862 Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch ordered all commercial and vacant buildings to be burned, and in 1864 the Confederate bombardment of downtown wreaked additional havoc.

Tour Stop 22

Washington County Jail

Look at that wonderful little castle at the end of the street! Although it's not the kind of place where you would have wanted to stay when it was built in 1897 – it was the Washington County Jail.

Tour Stop 23

Conner-White/Guisinger Building

Known to most people as the Guisinger Building, this brick building was built in 1886 by T. J. Taylor for grocers C. C. Conner and John T. White. It is a very typical example of late 19th century commercial buildings that were built by contractors instead of architects.

Tour Stop 24

Evans Building

Can you see the little 2-story gray brick building next door to the Guisinger Building? Upstairs in 1965 that was the office of world-renowned Fayetteville architect E. Fay Jones. He was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, and was the only one of Wright's disciples to receive the AIA Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by the American Institute of Archi- tects.

Tour Stop 25

Steven K. Stone Building

This side of the street has also had a rough life. It initially consisted of several small one and two-story frame buildings, all of which were burned in 1862. These were replaced by more one and two-story wooden buildings, only to have the 1880 tornado pretty much wipe out the entire block.

Tour Stop 26

Town Center / World Peace Fountain

To fill the gap and to create an open plaza space, the Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission hired Wittenburg Delony and Davidson to design the Fayetteville Town Center. Completed in 2001, it is a multi-purpose convention center with over 25,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space.

Tour Stop 27

Tim's Pizza / Royal Theater

On the left, two brick buildings from the 1890's were torn down in 1920 by E.A. Budd to build the Royal Theater. The first year it was open the theater was fined $1 for showing a movie on a Sunday. The 1982 renovation project by architects Witsell & Evans increased store frontage and window space by creating a unique courtyard mall inside the building on the left side.

Tour Stop 28

West Mountain Brewery/Hudgins Building

The building on the right was built by H.M. Hudgins in 1887. The second floor was the popular Woods Opera House. This building later housed Budd's Department Store, JC Penney, and now houses a brewpub.

Tour Stop 29

Fayetteville Underground / Washington Hotel

Believe it or not, behind the stucco building with the pointy tower used to be a Woolworth's store built in 1961, their third location on the Square.

Tour Stop 30

Police Department / Masonic Lodge site

Just down the street in back of this building is the site of first building for the oldest Masonic Lodge west of the Mississippi. The Masonic Hall was erected in 1840 by the Washington Lodge of the Masons on a lot deeded by Governor Archibald Yell. During the Civil War, Union troops occupied the building and it is said it was spared because Colonel Harrison and many of his men were Masons from that very Lodge. But, it didn't survive the march of progress. It was torn down in 1963 to make way for the city police department.

Tour Stop 31

Wolf Building

The building to the west was the tallest commercial building in Fayetteville for nearly 60 years, and was built by a young man whose career resembled that of a shooting star.

Fayetteville Visitors Bureau

21 South Block Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

479-521-5776 local
800-766-4626 toll free
479-521-4731 fax

Click here to map us on Google


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