A.C. Haralson, Arkansas State Parks
Queen Wilhelmina at twilight.
If you ever stayed at Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge
in Mena before its renovation, you will recall that the windows in the rooms were merely arrowslits, and in alcoves to boot. It was quite a surprise, since one would expect that a lodge atop Rich Mountain (second highest in Arkansas) with a view of the Ouachita Mountains would provide rooms with a view. Robin Hood might have been happy, but I wasn't when I stayed there.
Thanks to Amendment 75, which created the 1/8 cent conservation tax, State Parks was able to polish this jewel of a site with a $9.6 million redo that added 25,881 square feet to the existing 37,029 square feet, including additional guest rooms, some featuring fireplaces and spa tubs, a new hearth room and a wrap-around porch. And windows!
The lodge was closed in March 2012 for construction. (You can see pictures of how the lodge once looked here
, though probably not for long.) Robin Borne
of the Borne Firm Architects was the architect for the stone and shingle renovation. Consulting with Borne were mechanical and electrical engineers Pettit and Pettit Consulting Engineers Inc.; structural engineers Engineering Consultants Inc., civil engineers by Hanson and McLaughlin Engineering LLC of Little Rock; landscape architects Development Consultants Inc. of Little Rock; environmental engineers Morris & Associates; and geotechnical consultants Grubbs, Hoyskn, Barton & Wyatt. The solar hot water system was designed by Stellar Sun, kitchen consultant was TriMark Strategic of Coppell, Texas; and interior furnishings were by Jake Limberg of Arkansas State Parks.
You can see more pictures of the lodge in this Parks
and at Kat Robinson's website, tiedyetravels
. The lodge reopens July 1; to make reservations, go to the lodge's website
or call 1-800-264-2477.