Curran Hall

 

Built in 1842, Historic Curran Hall is the city’s only antebellum home open daily to the public. It houses the official Little Rock Visitor Information Center and is the Mayor’s Reception Hall. Managed by the Quapaw Quarter Association, Curran Hall welcomes weddings, bridal parties, photography sessions, meetings, intimate gatherings, receptions, sit-down dinners and buffets, hosted both inside the lovely historic home and on beautifully landscaped grounds maintained by the Pulaski County Master Gardeners. Click here to see photos of Curran Hall's restoration. Click here to see photos of Curran Hall's traditional floorcloth. 

The Little Rock Visitor Information Center at Curran Hall is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Stop by during those hours to tour the house and garden.

For information on renting Historic Curran Hall for your next event please contact Shelle Stormoe, Membership & Activities Coordinator: shelle.stormoe@quapaw.com or 371-0075 ext. 3.  


Curran Hall Rental Information


Curran Hall Event and Wedding Photos


Brief History of Curran Hall

What we know today as Historic Curran Hall was built in 1842 as a private residence. Throughout its 176 years, the Greek Revival-style house has been the center of romantic tales and local lore, beginning with its construction. Col. Ebenezer Walters originally built the house as a gift for his wife Mary. Local historians credit Gideon Shryock, the architect responsible for the Old State House (now the Old State House Museum), with the design of the home. Just before the house was finished in the summer of 1843, Mary Walters died. Her heartbroken husband sold the house and promptly left Arkansas.

The new owner, an attorney for Albert Pike, David J. Baldwin and his wife lived in the home until 1849. The next couple to call the building home were the Currans, the namesake of the now-preserved house. James and Sophia (Fulton) Curran and their three children made Curran Hall their happy home while he became a prominent Little Rock lawyer. A year after his death in 1854, the widowed Sophia married Curran’s former law partner, George Claiborne Watkins, attorney general (1848-1851) and chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court (1852-1854). The large, blended family added on living space. Shortly after the beginning of the Civil War, the family fled Little Rock.

In the early 1880s, Alice Curran Conway, who had inherited the house, sold it to the Frolich family—Jacob, his wife Mollie and their three children. After completing his terms as secretary of state, Jacob and family moved to Washington, D.C. In 1884, the widow Mary Eliza Woodruff Bell (daughter of William Woodruff the founder of the Arkansas Gazette) and her four daughters, Rolfe, Eva, Hetty and Fanny—all teachers—moved into the home. Unique for such a historic property, only five families have called Curran Hall home. Mary Eliza’s granddaughter, Averell Reynolds Tate was the last resident. In fact, she was born in 1908 in what’s now the Visitor Information Center.

Averell moved out in 1993 and fortunately, the City of Little Rock and the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission saved the residence from demolition in 1996. After purchasing the house, the Little Rock Visitor Foundation led the way in renovating it for use as Little Rock’s first official visitor information center. After six years, the house was formally opened to the public as the Little Rock Visitor Information Center on May 18, 2002. It is presently managed by the Quapaw Quarter Association and is available for rental for weddings, private parties, and meetings.

With such a linage of love stories—both tragic and beautiful—it’s no surprise this wedding gift has been the wedding site for many happy Arkansas brides and grooms and has been touted as “a hidden gem” by wedding photographers in Arkansas Bride magazine. 

 


The Curran Hall Gardens

As early as 1849, visitors to the Curran Hall gardens commented on the roses, native flowers, exotic shrubbery, and arbors with vines, fruits, and berries.  Original landscaping included a wide variety of hardy Southern trees, shrubs, vines, and bulbs. Today Curran Hall features a garden landscape designated as the Marjem Ward Jackson Historic Garden which attracts tour groups and visitors from all over the world. In full bloom the garden is breath-taking and is lovingly maintained by the Pulaski County Master Gardeners.

Conveniently located in Little Rock’s downtown historic district near Interstate 30, Curran Hall is within walking distance of the Little Rock River Market District and just a short drive from the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.  Throughout the year, Curran Hall welcomes guests to Arkansas and our Capital City with Southern grace and charm.  The welcome center offers knowledgeable and friendly staff looking forward to assisting visitors to the Capital City and Natural State.