Benton, Arkansas: World's Only Building Made of Bauxite Team Field Report

Gann Museum of Saline County

218 S. Market St., Benton, AR
Gann Museum of Saline County. East side of S. Market St., just north of Smith St. Small and easy to miss, despite its pastel colors.
Th-Sa 9-3 (Call to verify)
Free, donations welcome.
Save to My Sights

Bauxite building.

World's Only Building Made of Bauxite
1893 three-room building was the office of Dr. Dewell Gann and is the only known bauxite building in existence. 2017: Temporarily closed. Report... [06/22/2014]

Visitor Tips and News About World's Only Building Made of Bauxite

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Bauxite Building.

Building Made of Bauxite

From the historical marker sign in front of the Gann Building and Museum: "Built in 1893, the office of Dr. Dewell Gann, Sr. is the only known bauxite building in existence. The building was constructed by patients who could not afford to pay for services he rendered them. The soft stone was dug from a farm near by, sawn into blocks with a handsaw and allowed to harden for six weeks. The building served as the Gann Medical Office until 1946 when it was given by Dr. Dewell Gann, Jr. to the city of Benton to be used as a library and later a museum."

They say good things come in small packages, and if you are an architecture buff you will really enjoy your visit to this little gem. The original building consisted of 3 rooms: a waiting room for the ladies, a waiting room for the gentlemen, and doctor's office. The two waiting rooms had their own entry doors, separated from each other with an interior wall. The small doctor's office at the back was used for everything the doctor found medically necessary, including surgery.

Inside the bauxite structure, the city has established a museum with many items of significance and local interest. I particularly enjoyed the examples of bauxite from around the world. And, this was my first introduction to Niloak Pottery. Our visit would not have been nearly as enjoyable or informative if it had not been for the museum's wonderful director. His vast knowledge of the Benton area, the Gann family, and the history of this beautiful bauxite building were much appreciated.

[Gary Epperson, 09/08/2011]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Bauxite Museum and TeethBauxite Museum and Teeth, Bauxite, AR - 4 mi.
Bauxite Miner Family StatueBauxite Miner Family Statue, Bauxite, AR - 4 mi.
Meals Served by Model TrainMeals Served by Model Train, Little Rock, AR - 20 mi.
In the region:
Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum, Hot Springs, AR - 27 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

October 16, 2019

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Arkansas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Mothman Museum, Point Pleasant, West Virginia (Oct 14-20, 2019)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: Benton, Arkansas

Nightly rates found:

Hotels Near...

Book Now


Favorite Quirky City Sights