Crowd Gathered for Wall-Breaking Ceremony at CALS Main Library

Little Rock, AR – This morning, the Central Arkansas Library System hosted a ceremonial wall-breaking event for the flagship Main Library. Key members of CALS staff, project leads from Polk Stanley Wilcox, WER Architects, Stocks-Mann Architects, and CDI Contractors, as well as Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., and a large group of patrons and guests gathered to view the empty library one last time.

“This is truly a third place for the city of Little Rock. When we see it as an economic engine, when we see it as a place of cultural education and cultural connections, it helps us grow as a city,” said Mayor Scott, “And it doesn’t happen without each of you; in particular the residents who helped pass the 2021 and the 2022 millage.”

During the event, final renderings were shown, including details about each floor of the library. On the exterior, the  majority of the building will remain intact, with the addition of windows, a glass vestibule stairwell to the right of the entrance, an additional entrance added for the library cafe, and the rooftop access. Some of the biggest details revealed were moving the children’s area to the first floor to take advantage of the garden area, the addition of a TV studio that will be available for patron use, and a demonstration kitchen on the 5th floor.

Nate Coulter, Executive Director of CALS spoke about Bobby Roberts’ decision to move the library to that area of downtown long before the Rivermarket existed and how now the city has grown around it and includes many world class facilities, including the Clinton Presidential Library, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts and the soon to arrive Stella Boyle Smith Music Center. CALS Main Library will be among those.

The crowd cheered when it was announced that the library cafe space on the first floor will be occupied by Boulevard Bread. This space will be accessible by a separate, exterior entrance as well as through the library. The cafe will be able to keep their own hours.

“We are looking forward to building this space and partnership with CALS.” said Christina Basham, Co-owner of Boulevard Bread, “This is an amazing opportunity to continue our dedication to the downtown community.”

After the ceremonial wall breaking took place, guests took turns posing in hardhats and had the opportunity to swing a sledgehammer at the wall. All of the renderings and images from the event can be downloaded here. CALS is continuing to update communications about the renovation at