News Release

Fort Smith National Historic Site receives Great American Outdoors Act funding to restore historic Commissary Building

3 images: woman works on door frame, Commissary building, man works on historic door jam.

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News Release Date: June 28, 2023

Contact: Lisa Conard Frost, 479-226-3701

Preservation work is taking place on the historic Commissary Building in Fort Smith National Historic Site with funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund.

The Commissary Building, completed in 1839, is the oldest standing structure in Fort Smith. It has been a supply building, family dwelling, office space for Judge Issac C. Parker, and a museum for the town of Fort Smith. Restoration, preservation and repair work is being completed this year on interior features consisting of lime-wash over masonry walls, lime plaster over wood lath and lime plaster on masonry, as well as the exterior made of native stone and brick.

"We appreciate the funding from GAOA and the work of the skilled and knowledgeable MAT team that are enabling the rehabilitation and preservation of one of our most important historic structures,” said Superintendent Lisa Conard Frost.

The work is being performed by a Maintenance Action Team (MAT) from the National Park Service (NPS) Historic Preservation Training Center. MATs are composed of NPS staff who are trained in historic restoration and preservation work. They travel to national parks to perform smaller, but critical, maintenance rehabilitation and repair projects on historic structures. MATs enable the NPS to complete projects that require consistent high-quality work from skilled craftspeople at a time when fewer people are practicing traditional trades.

Infrastructure funding from GAOA is part of a concerted effort to address the extensive deferred maintenance and repair backlog in national parks. Supported by revenue from energy development, GAOA's Legacy Restoration Fund provides up to $1.3 billion per year for five years to the National Park Service to make significant enhancements in national parks to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment for current and future visitors.

Last updated: June 28, 2023

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Fort Smith, AR 72901


479 783-3961

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