Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Choctaw Route Station (1899)

Now part of the Clinton Presidential Center, this former passenger depot houses the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Little Rock, AR

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A few things about this building caught my eye.

First is the very elaborate, and finely detailed terra cotta. THE CHOCTAW ROUTE is permanently emblazened at the top in bold letters and the terra cotta details around the second floor frieze is outstanding.

The second thing that caught my eye is how they carefully enclosed the track side of the building with glass to provide additional office space. The floor to ceiling glass enclosure is set just behind the original structural columns. You still get the feel for the old passenger depot. To reinforce the reference to the past use, there is a sidewalk where the train tracks used to be – leading all the way to the old train bridge over the river (which is now a pedestrian bridge).

I would say that the Choctaw Route Depot is not the greatest example of turn of the century passenger depot architecture, but the terra cotta and the adaptive reuse is well worth a look.

When in Little Rock, if you are looking for a fun colorful place for dinner, try Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro


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