North Little Rock’ William F. Laman Public Library System announces the purchase of the Post Office Building, located at 420 Main St. in North Little Rock, for $775,000.
"We are very excited for this opportunity to improve and expand our services to the people of central Arkansas", said Jeff Baskin, Executive Director of the William F. Laman Public Library System.
The next step will be to renovate the entire building which will take place during 2013 at a cost of $2.8 million. When it reopens in early 2014 it will replace the current Argenta Branch which is located at 506 Main St. in downtown North Little Rock. This newly renovated building will be comprise of 16,719 square feet which will contain a computer lab, reading room, café, exhibit hall, four meeting rooms, a one hundred and forty seat auditorium and over twelve thousand books.
The William F. Laman Public Library System, founded in 1946 and composed of a main library at 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock and a branch library at 506 Main St. in Argenta, is the official library system of North Little Rock. Although the William F. Laman Public Library System is independent from other library systems in central Arkansas, anyone living in Pulaski County may freely obtain a library card through the William F. Laman Public Library System. For more information, visit www.lamanlibrary.org.
History of the library since it opened the Argenta Branch
In May of 2006 the William F. Laman Public Library opened its first branch on Main Street in downtown North Little Rock. The Argenta Branch is housed in the renovated building which at one time housed the City Hall and the downtown fire station. The 2,550-square-foot branch has a collection of approximately 10,000 adult and children’s books, DVDs, and six Internet computer stations. Fittingly, the library shares the historic building with the North Little Rock History Commission.
In the Spring of 2006, Laman plaza re-opened after extensive landscaping and renovations. The plaza received new rock work, sidewalks and dramatic lighting. A variety of new trees and shrubs were planted, and flowering annuals were also added. The gazebo, designed and built in the late 1960’s by famed architect E. Fay Jones, is still the centerpiece of the plaza. It overlooks the newly restored pond and fountains. Handsome wrought-iron gates and fencing now surround Laman Plaza.