Arkansas House members have been meeting in the current chamber at the State Capitol since 1911. The desks and chairs were moved from the Old State House the night before the first session here began.
While modifications have been made over the last 100 years, the desks that architects had designed in 1914 specifically for our chamber were never actually built.
In the last twenty years, House leadership has made a continuous effort to honor the historical integrity of this chamber. This should be a place that honors not only our forefathers, but our descendants.
An extensive restoration was completed 4 years ago to restore the stained glass dome, a water damaged ceiling, and the Chamber chandelier. In in the last two years, construction crews have renovated our four committee rooms where the bulk of legislation begins.
Now, crews are working to remove the current desks and flooring in the House Chamber. Representatives have been using the current desks since the 1960’s. The last renovations for the floor took place in 1986.
But the current project is not to simply replace outdated material. It is a restoration project to build what architects back in 1914 had in mind for this structure. The project will also include integrating some modern advancements such as replacing the current analog voting machines with digital ones.
Clements and Associates are the architects of the project. The project is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
This House is not just ours, it is yours. We are certain when the project is complete, it will be a House we are all proud to call our own.