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.


Curran Hall Rental FAQ

Do I need permission to use Curran Hall for my bridal, senior year, or family portraits?   

Yes, you do.  All photo sessions during regular office hours are $50.00.  Session after hours that require access to the building are $150.00 per hour.  This is simply to cover our staff time or liability costs.  Simply e-mail shelle.stormoe@quapaw.com to ask permission. You can also call 501-371-0075 ext. 3, Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  If we have an evening event scheduled, the staff may be in at another time on a given day. We need 24 hours’ notice before your session and we ask that you pay your photography fee in advance on the donation portal on our website. We cannot respond to requests that give us less than 24 hours’ notice. Also, our staff does not answer e-mail on the weekends.  If you request comes in on Saturday or Sunday, expect a delay in response of 24-48 hours. 

How many people can you accommodate for events? 

It depends. If you are planning an event that requires tables and seats for each guest, we can accommodate about 50 people.  If you plan a buffet-style event that does not require tables and chairs for each person, we can accommodate up to 120.  We can accommodate more for "sit down" events if you rent tents that are placed on the back lawn, but the maximum is about 80 people.    

What does it cost to rent Curran Hall?  

$150.00 per hour for private events.  $75.00 per hour for verified non-profits.   We also require a $200.00 deposit on the day you request your event date. We will apply this amount to the overall total.  

Do you require the use of specific caterers?  

No, we do not.  

Does your staff setup and take down for my event?  

We can set up for events, if the renter is willing to pay for staff time to do so.  We do not take down for private events.  All renters are required to break down from their events, and clean up after their guests.  Renters are not expected to mop or vacuum, but they are expected to take down tables, return table cloths (if rented from Curran Hall), and clean dishes or sweep floors as needed in the kitchen area.  

Does Curran Hall have a full kitchen?  

No. Our kitchen has a sink and a refrigerator, but no stove top or oven.     

Why can't my guests wear high heels inside Curran Hall?  

Because the floors are over 150 years old, or they are covered by a hand-painted floor cloth.  High heels dig into our delicate wood floors, and damage our floor cloth.  

Can I rent the entire building for a day-time event?  

The short answer is no.  Because Curran Hall doubles as the Little Rock Visitor's Center, the only portion of the building rentable during the day-time hours are the parlor and dining room on the west side of the building.  The east side of the building must be open to the public during regular business hours, Monday-Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from 1-5.