Fort Smith Riverfront


The development of a Riverfront Park was the result of a riverfront master plan completed by MAHG and the City of Fort Smith in 1999. The City wished to create a public space linking downtown with an underutilized riverfront adjacent to the Garrison Avenue Bridge. The goal was to give the citizens of Fort Smith access to the riverfront along the Arkansas River and provide facilities for recreation, entertainment, and celebrations.


The existing park, located at the river’s edge, is used for performances but was lacking in amenities. Also, the entry to the park at street level was located 22 feet above the rest of the park where performances occurred. In order to provide handicap access to the lower park area and provide performance seating the a 1,100 seat amphitheater with switchback ramps was created to connect the two levels.


At the upper level of the amphitheater a new events Building with meeting rooms, concessions area, and restrooms provides staging areas for events going on within the park. The design of the building acts as a gateway to the park and is visible to motorists entering the city via the Garrison Avenue Bridge.


The other half of the park, located inland on the other side of Riverfront Drive, provides a transition between the park along the River and the Downtown Business District. Located at the north end of the Park is the Pavilion. The brick and glass structure can be opened to the park by raising its glass overhead doors. The buiding is conditioned and is used for meetings, banquets, weddings, and celebrations.


  • Fort Smith Riverfront Park
  • City of Fort Smith
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas

Completion Date

  • 2001

Project Value

  • $5.2 million

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