Arkansas Capitol Remodeled And Repaired After Civil War

Mar 5, 2014

At the end of the Civil War, the Arkansas State House showed the effects of both the wartime hard use and pre-war deferred maintenance.

In the years following the war, Arkansas secretaries of state carried out extensive remodeling and repair work to the State House. The renovations were helpful but did not address a fundamental problem: the State House was simply overcrowded.

State offices shared the building with the Pulaski County government, which occupied part of the east wing, and also the United States District Court, which maintained chambers in the building.

Extensive repairs improved conditions in the State House but some problems, such as the perennially-leaky roof, did not stay solved for long.

Political contention brought further indignities: during the “Brooks Baxter War” of 1874, supporters of the Brooks faction occupied the State House, dug trenches in the lawns and erected wooden barricades around the grounds and in the building; they also enlarged the main entrances, knocking out timber and bricks to allow easier movement of artillery pieces through the building!