FORT SMITH, Ark (KNWA) - "It's going to be a very unique structure only to Fort Smith and only to the US Marshals," Reese Rowland from Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects said.
Fort Smith is bringing its past to the present.
Crews broke ground on Wednesday on the future fifty-thousand square foot United States Marshals Museum in Fort Smith.
"This community came together to bring this home," President & CEO of United States Marshals Museum Patrick Weeks said. "It impressed the Marshal service so much that they awarded it here as opposed to Hollywood or D.C. because this is the place that is supposed to be home."
Representatives of the project say the museum has taken over a decade to plan and could not be in a better place to represent the city's history."
"This is sacred ground for the United States Marshal Service," Weeks said. "Half of the guys that are recognized on their wall of honor in D.C. fought and died in Oklahoma territory and half of those guys came out of Fort Smith and put their life on the line trying to get the bad guys. "
From an aerial view, the building will be in the shape of a Marshal's star badge facing the Arkansas River.
It represents the launching point of the United States Marshals into the Western territory.
"A lot of great minds are working together to put on the best idea on paper," Rowland said. "We want when people walk in their jaws drop and we hope it will be a national draw to Fort Smith."
The final product will house current artifacts and historic pieces dating back to the 18th century.
The goal is to honor the history here in the Natural State and beyond.
"This is a national project," Weeks said "We look at this dirt out here that is going to grow and we think about this building that is going to be here. This is a story that covers all fifty states and ninety-four districts and the Constitution. Nothing happened in my life that didn't direct me here right here right now."
After the dirt is transported and settles for five months, site managers will resume construction in Spring 2018.
KARK's D.J. Williams is one of the hosts of the Dallas-based program.
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