Below is a brief excerpt from my 2020 book, “A Guide to the South’s Quirkiest Roadside Attractions.” It is a Books-a-Million exclusive and can be purchased in stores or on the website here.
Fayetteville’s historic Wilson Park is known for an unusual feature: a whimsical castle structure that was built to hide a formerly bland concrete springhouse that feeds the park’s swimming pool.
According to the city’s website, a contest was held in the late 1970s for design ideas. Sculptor Frank Williams’s castle was the winner: “The Castle has become increasingly popular over the years, receiving thousands of visitors annually. Over time, the structural integrity began to weaken, requiring renovations to the original project. These improvements were completed in 1999 and 2004. Rock walls on the planting spaces were constructed, aggregate walkways were added, entry areas were enlarged, the bridge rails were re-built, and the dam below the bridge was reinforced.” In recent years, artist Eugene Sargent created “benches that resemble flowers and leaves, a flower fountain was fashioned for the pond, and in 2009 a ‘worm’ retaining wall was added.”
Castle at Wilson Park
675 North Park Avenue, Fayetteville, AR, 479-444-3471