On Mother’s Day weekend (May 10-11), the Quapaw Quarter Association of Little Rock is hosting its 50th Spring Tour of Homes in the Governor’s Mansion district, downtown. First Lady, Ginger Bebe will chair the event along with P. Allen Smith. The tour will include five homes, all of which date from the early 1880s to the 1930s and represent a variety of architectural and interior design styles. And, today, we are excited to bring you a sneak peek of three of the homes on the tour! We’re hoping you’ll want to attend some or all of the tour events (listed below) so that you can see more of these lovely homes. Here’s just a taste of what we saw:
First, we visited the Old Methodist Parsonage. It is a two-story brick house, built in 1927 to serve as the parsonage for the First United Methodist Church. It was designed by a prominent Little Rock architect, John Parks Almond, and built by George Burden, the contractor who also built the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. The home was construced in the Neoclassical Georgian style, with a symmetrical facade and a low-hipped roof and Palladian columns flanking the front door.
We met the current resident, Mrs. Harstein, whose collection of cake plates we found on display in her elegant dining room.
Charming dollhouses are located throughout the home, each painstakingly furnished and decorated with lifelike detail.
The garden area will be a gathering place for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during the tour, weather permitting.
Next, we toured the Turner-Back House, constructed in 1884-5 for realtor W. J. Turner. It was originally designed as a rambling, red-brick Queen Anne residence by Thomas Harding Jr and was one of the first architect-designed homes in the neighborhood. The home was extensively remodeled by the Back family in the then-popular Craftsman style around 1920. The house remained in the Back family until the 1940s, when it was converted into apartments. During the mid-1990s the home underwent a major rehabilitation project, which returned it to single-family use. The Wittenburgs were kind enough to show us around.
Finally, we visited The Pierce House, which was built in 1881 as the home of the Right Reverend Henry Niles Pierce, founder of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral of Little Rock. It’s one of the oldest homes still standing the Governor’s Mansion Historic District. Its structure is a simple version of the Italianate style with characteristic bracketed eaves. A Colonial Revival-style wraparound porch was added near the turn of the century. Homeowner Katie Kirkpatrick Choate showed us around the home.
We were very impressed by the vitality and variety we saw on the tour. And there was so much more we wanted to show you of these fabulous historical homes, but you’ll have to see it all for yourself!
To learn more about the Spring Tour of Homes events CLICK HERE.
Here’s an outline of the weekend schedule of events:
Saturday, May 10
5:30 – 7:30, Candlelight and Champagne Tour of Homes surrounding the Governor’s Mansion
Enjoy a leisurely stroll in this historic neighborhood with champagne, wine, and hors d’oeuvres while touring our featured homes.
7:30– 9:30, Dinner & Party at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
Join us at the Governor’s Mansion for dinner and drinks with honorary co-chairs P. Allen Smith and First Lady Ginger Beebe.
9:30 onwards, The After Party at South on Main Restaurant, 1304 South Main Street
Help the QQA celebrate five decades of preservation work at a late-night party at South on Main with Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers.
Saturday night tickets are also valid for Sunday afternoon tour.
Sunday, May 11
11:00-1:00, Brunch and Garden Tour at Curran Hall, 615 East Capitol Avenue
Start your Mother’s Day festivities at Historic Curran Hall with a casual brunch buffet and mimosa bar and tour the Marjem Ward Jackson Historic Garden.
1:00-5:00, Spring Tour of Homes, Governor’s Mansion Historic District
50th Spring Tour of Homes with lawn games, kid friendly activities, live music, food vendors, trolley rides, and more!
Ticket proceeds benefit the historic preservation programs of the QQA.