I give full credit to the Morning News of NWA for the following article (read to the bottom and you'll see more purdy pics!
Crystal Bridges Trail, Viewing Platform, Open
LAST UPDATED FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009 6:30 PM CDT IN NEWS
By Caleb Fort
THE MORNING NEWS
BENTONVILLE — There are some who doubt any progress is being made on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Scott Eccleston, the manager of parks and grounds for the museum, said some of his neighbors don't believe much is being done in the acres of land north of downtown Bentonville.
There can be no question now. The Crystal Bridges Trail, which features a deck that offers a panoramic view of the construction site, opened Friday.
After three years of hidden work on the project, the public now has the best view available of the construction, said Sandy Edwards, associate director of the museum.
Attendees of the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday crowded the viewing platform to watch workers and cranes in the process of erecting the museum's concrete walls.
"It was a total surprise," said Frances Steiger, who lives near Northeast "F" Street and Enfield Road, just south of the museum. "It's wow."
The shapes of some of the galleries are evident in the construction site. A foundation and walls outline the lip-shaped colonial gallery, and the administration and library section is taking form.
A pink line across the concrete structure marks the future water levels, Eccleston said.
The 1.5-mile trail connects Compton Gardens and the North Bentonville trail and can be accessed from either location. The platform is located at the halfway mark of the trail. David Wright, the city's park manager, called the trail the backbone of the city's trail systems.
Mayor Bob McCaslin compared the trail and the viewing platform to an appetizer for the main course — the museum.
"I've learned the hard way, I'm not going to announce when the entree's going to be ready," he joked.
Virginia Germann, spokeswoman for the museum, said the opening date is still undetermined.
Eccleston said the viewing platform will probably close once the museum is open, or once glass is installed — the platform is in rock-throwing range, he noted.
The trail is open to bikes and pedestrians. It is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Eccleston said workers will install lights along the trail to encourage nighttime use.
Here is my quickie panoramic of the site:
here are some materials available for curiosity:
and my favorite which shows what you will see if standing at the end of the site looking south (the lookout is facing east-ish):
I think Randy has a few good photos...and I have a slideshow of the woods. The entrance is just 2 blocks from the Bentonville Square, and incorporates Compton Gardens, a beautifully maintained garden with natural plants and trees.