Van Buren, AR: Downtown Historic District

Downtown Historic District, Van Buren AR

In 2010, we headed to Colorado with grand vacation plans and a dog. Our first stop along the route was Van Buren, Arkansas. It was like stepping back in time, and it had its share of round and chamfered corners. The 3-story building with the corner turret at the right of the photograph is the former Crawford County Bank, constructed 1889. The first two floors have chamfered corners. The third floor was added in 1905. A sliver of the first Citizens Bank is visible just past the Crawford County bank.

The Citizens Bank has recently purchased twenty-five foot frontage of the Ross property, adjoining the property, owned by the Crawford County Bank, and the two banks will, on the first of July, begin the erection of a fine bank building to be occupied by both banks. The building will be an ornament to the town and its erection is indication of the prosperity of its owners.

Daily Arkansas Gazette, May 9, 1889 p. 7.

The July news was that the two banks, having ‘joined forces’ would erect a building of three stories, with a pressed brick, iron and glass front. The building was designed by architect ‘Mr. Burger’ of Fort Smith. Construction began in August.

In 1904, Citizens Bank announced it would erect a new building. The 2-story yellow brick building across the street boasts a chamfered entrance. The Crawford County Bank closed in 1929 with the crash preceding the Great Depression. Citizens Bank continues operation in Van Buren.

Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company Building, Van Buren AR

The Anheuser-Busch building was constructed in 1897. The glass portion of the first floor is supported by cast-iron columns and a cast-iron beam supporting the brick second floor. The canted corner entrance (with its supporting column) is one of my favorites. The large showcase windows were intended to enable pedestrians to view the brewing process. The production of beer ended with Prohibition in 1920, but they continued to manufacture near-beer and sodas.

This entry was posted in Bank buildings, brick work, Historic Downtowns, Ironwork, Victorian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Van Buren, AR: Downtown Historic District

  1. kocart says:

    I love this. I can’t resist photographing old town squares, but it’s even better if you know the history. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peggy says:

    There are so many small towns in Arkansas that seem to take one back in time – which to me is something I sometimes wish I could do. Present day life is so hectic.

    Liked by 1 person

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