Located next to the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock, the William J Clinton Presidential Center – dedicated to one of Arkansas’s most famous natives, Bill Clinton – attracts thousands of visitors each year. Indeed, the center is an interesting place to visit while in Little Rock. The center occupies a formerly run-down warehouse district and is located next to what used to be abandoned railroad tracks. The Clinton Presidential Center is thus an interesting modern attraction in Little Rock and an important example of urban renewal.
The center and complex includes the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the Clinton Presidential Library, and the Clinton Foundation’s offices. With its 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 79,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency, and 21 million e-mails, the library features the largest archives of all other presidential libraries in the country.
The center’s main building has lots of exhibition space, classrooms, Forty Two restaurant (why 42? Clinton was the 42nd president), and the Great Hall. Included in the permanent exhibitions are a timeline that chronicles each of Clinton’s years in office, replicas of the Oval Office (the only full-sized replica in any presidential library) and Cabinet Room, as well as the Cadillac One that was used during Clinton’s presidency.
Next to the museum is the Clinton Presidential Park. The park is located on the riverfront and occupies thirty acres of land and includes an anphitheater, gardens, children’s play area, and arboretum. Also in the complex is the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the Clinton Public Policy Institute, and the Clinton Foundation, all housed in the historic and restored Choctaw Station.
The Center hosts a number of free special events, festivals, and music performances that are great for families. It plays an active, important role in the community and holds a number of lectures, events, and conferences every year.