From Historic Places to New Spaces
- November 11, 1918
- May 9, 1935
- October 7, 1963
- November 11, 1979
- 2003: A Public / Private Partnership
- October 30, 2006: A Downtown Destination
- Summer 2015: The Self-Service
The first public library in Bentonville was located in the east room of the Massey Hotel space. It closed due to insufficient funding.
The “Allen D. Clark Library” opened in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. Under the leadership of Mayor Sam Beasley, the library was incorporated as a Bentonville City Library.
The Library moved to the Council room at the back of City Hall, but quickly outgrew the location and moved to the east side of City Hall.
The City purchased the Church of Christ building on Southwest A Street and relocated the Library to the space.
Jim Walton and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Walton purchased the Historic Massey Hotel with plans to move the Library to the first floor, with office space on the remaining floors.
Extensive renovations and restorations of the Massey Hotel allowed Bentonville Public Library to open its doors to the public. This grand old space was the library’s home for nearly 27 years. The Massey Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite the wonderful historical significance in the Massey Hotel location, the 8,500 square foot space was unable to meet our users’ growing and modern library needs. The Bentonville community began efforts to fund and build a new facility.
A public/private partnership, the Bentonville Library Foundation succeeded in the task of raising $7 million for the $9 million project. Generosity from individuals, corporations and foundations joined the City of Bentonville’s $2 million contribution toward construction of the Library.
When the new 38,000 square foot library opened at 405 South Main Street, Bentonville Public Library became a destination place in downtown Bentonville. Facility amenities include:
- Community meeting rooms
- Genealogy research center
- Vibrant children and teen spaces
Paying homage to our historical roots at the Massey, Bentonville Public Library’s modern facility features red brick, a grand veranda with signature columns and lovely fireplace area inside. The space is more than bricks and mortar; it is the setting for imagination, community, education and superior quality of life.