As the capital of Arkansas, Little Rock is one of the most popular places in the state to have a wedding, and it offers an excellent selection of indoor and outdoor venues for couples to choose from. The city is full of historic mansions with beautiful architecture and landscaped lawns perfect for romantic ceremonies, but couples can also take advantage of the city's location on the Arkansas River by having their wedding in an elegant ballroom overlooking the water. Whether you're looking for a picturesque ceremony site or the perfect place to host your reception, here are the best wedding venues in the city. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.The Bernice Garden

The Bernice Garden
© The Bernice Garden

Created to serve as a community meeting place and to celebrate the work of local artists, the Bernice Garden is a beautiful green space dotted with flowers, ornamental plants, and locally made sculptures. Couples can say their vows under the garden's beautiful pergola, and there is plenty of space to set up tables and chairs for up to 125 guests. The space is rented out unfurnished, but the venue can suggest excellent vendors for table and chair rentals if needed. Couples are also responsible for arranging their own food, beverages, flowers, decor, entertainment, and event planners.

1401 S Main St, Little Rock, AR 72202, Phone: 501-410-3938

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2.A Touch of Quality Event Center

A Touch of Quality Event Center
© A Touch of Quality Event Center


Conveniently located right downtown, A Touch of Quality Event Center is a dedicated event space that was established in 2016. The venue is particularly well-suited to receptions, but it can also be used for ceremonies, and a special package is available for couples who would like to use the space for both aspects of their wedding. Tables and chairs will be provided, and the rental rate also includes use of the venue's parking lot, dressing rooms, and well-equipped selfie lounge. Couples are welcome to arrange their own caterer or even bring their own food, and there is a small kitchenette on-site.

1715 Scott St, Little Rock, AR 72206, Phone: 501-960-2011

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3.Alda's Magnolia Hill

Alda's Magnolia Hill
© Alda's Magnolia Hill

Listed on the National Historic Register of Places, Alda's Magnolia Hill is a truly memorable place to have your special day. The 31-acre property boasts fountains, century-old oak trees, and a 3-acre lake, and couples who want to have an outdoor ceremony can say their vows at a romantic handmade stone altar overlooking the water. An elegant farmhouse complete with chandeliers is available for indoor weddings, and no matter which venue you choose, you can choose to add on special touches like a white dove release during the ceremony or horse and carriage transportation to the altar.

5110 Stagecoach Rd, Little Rock, AR 72204, Phone: 501-690-2574

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4.Arkansas Arts Center

Arkansas Arts Center
© Arkansas Arts Center


Established in 1960 to increase the presence of the arts in Little Rock, the Arkansas Arts Center is a beautiful, modern space with a world-class art collection. Couples who want to take full advantage of the center's beautiful artwork can hold their reception in the main building's stunning atrium, which will provide their guests with access to one of the center's wonderful galleries, but there is also a charming Greek Revival mansion that can be booked for smaller events. Catering can be done in-house or by the couple's caterer of choice, and tables and chairs are included in the rental fee.

501 E 9th St, Little Rock, AR 72202, Phone: 501-372-4000

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5.Ashley Alexander House

Ashley Alexander House
© Kalinova Olena/stock.adobe.com


Constructed in 1835, the Ashley Alexander House is a historic plantation home perfect for romantic Southern-style weddings. The expansive lawn is ideal for both ceremonies and receptions, and there is an outdoor terrace that makes a wonderful dance floor. The house also has plenty of space inside, including a modern full-service kitchen, and couples are welcome to prepare their own food or to bring in the caterer of their choice. Couples must also arrange their own cake, beverages, and flowers, but beautiful dishes are available to use free of charge, including crystal plates and antique silver serving pieces.

3514 Walkers Corner Rd, Scott, AR 72142, Phone: 501-231-6796

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6.Clinton Presidential Center

Clinton Presidential Center
© Volodymyr Shcerbak/stock.adobe.com


Set in a 30-acre park on the banks of the Arkansas River, the Clinton Presidential Center offers 10,000 square feet of event space that can be used for both ceremonies and receptions. The elegant ballroom features bamboo walls and stunning views of the city skyline, and the beautiful terrace is perfect for outdoor ceremonies. Catering is done by the in-house restaurant, which also has several spaces that can be booked for smaller events. A large changing room with coffee and snacks is provided for the bridal party, and the set-up and tear-down is all done by the venue staff.

1200 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-374-4242

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7.Club 27

Club 27
© Club 27

Club 27 is a gorgeous ballroom-style venue that can be found in the city's River Market District, and it's within easy walking distance of many of the city's best hotels. The space features elegant chandeliers and a 1000-square-foot hardwood dance floor, and it can accommodate between 100 and 160 seated guests depending on how the space is configured. Tables and chairs are provided free of charge, and all beverages must be purchased through the venue. Couples are welcome to arrange whatever outside food they like, but they should be aware that there is no kitchen on-site.

614 President Clinton Ave Suite B, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-414-0400

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8.DoubleTree Hotel Little Rock & Robinson Center

DoubleTree Hotel Little Rock & Robinson Center
© DoubleTree Hotel Little Rock & Robinson Center

Operated by the Hilton hotel chain, the DoubleTree Hotel Little Rock & Robinson Center boasts an excellent location in downtown Little Rock. The elegant Robinson Center Ballroom is the highlight of the venue; it's surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide beautiful views of the river, and the space can easily be divided to accommodate events of almost every size. Catering is done in-house, and a team of experienced wedding coordinators will be available to help plan every detail of your special day, including everything from your evening entertainment to overnight accommodation for your wedding guests

424 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-372-4371

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9.Faulkner Lake Orchard Wedding and Event Center

Faulkner Lake Orchard Wedding and Event Center
© Faulkner Lake Orchard Wedding and Event Center

Located on a peaceful family owned and operated farm only fifteen minutes outside the city, Faulkner Lake Orchard Wedding and Event Center is a ceremony and reception venue with both indoor and outdoor options. The farm's beautiful orchard is ideal for intimate weddings with up to 50 guests, and couples who would like to have a larger wedding can book the large deck, where the seating can be expanded to meet almost any requirements. Indoor events can be held inside the barn-style event center, which features two large chandeliers, a wrap-around loft, and a spacious bridal dressing room.

503 Morris Rd, North Little Rock, AR 72117, Phone: 501-961-9988

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10.Goodwin Manor

Goodwin Manor
© Goodwin Manor

Designed in the style of a traditional English estate, Goodwin Manor is a stunning stone manor with beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens that make for endless wonderful photo opportunities. Ceremonies and receptions can be held either inside or out; the property's spacious stone patio is one of the most popular sites, but the interior of the manor is always available as a backup plan in case of rain or extremely hot weather. Another highlight of the manor is the stunning bridal suite, which features a large balcony perfect for mimosas and brunch on the morning of your wedding.

3708 Garrison Rd, Little Rock, AR 72223, Phone: 501-590-4560

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11.Junior League of Little Rock

Junior League of Little Rock
© Freddy/stock.adobe.com

Originally a men's social club, the three-story building that now serves as the headquarters for the Junior League of Little Rock offers several beautiful event spaces perfect for weddings. The most popular venue is the magnificent Grand Ballroom, which features a Tiffany crystal chandelier and can hold more than 300 guests. Smaller receptions can also be held in the Banquet Hall, which can accommodate up to 80 seated guests. Couples can bring in their own alcohol and choose their own caterer, and as an added bonus, brides are given the opportunity to use the space for a portrait session before the wedding.

401 Scott St, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-375-5557

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12.Little Rock Club

Little Rock Club
© Little Rock Club

Found overlooking the city from the 30th floor of the Regions Building, the Little Rock Club is an exclusive city club known for its excellent food and its impeccable service. The space is suitable for both ceremonies and receptions, and it can hold up to 650 people. The rental rate includes the services of an event coordinator as well as tables, chairs, linens, candles, and both built-in and portable bars as required. A food and beverage minimum is required to book the space, but couples are welcome to bring in their own wedding cake from the bakery of their choice.

400 W Capitol Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-372-1821

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13.Little Rock Marriott

Little Rock Marriott
© Little Rock Marriott

With 21 event rooms and almost 45,000 square feet of event space, the Little Rock Marriott offers wonderful options for weddings of every size and style. The elegant hotel ballroom features a large terrace that makes the perfect venue for an indoor/outdoor reception, but couples who would rather keep the party entirely indoors can book the Riverview Room, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with a stunning view of the Arkansas River. The hotel's event staff are available to help with booking vendors and choosing floor plans, and they can also arrange for your wedding guests to stay in one of the hotel's beautiful rooms.

3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-906-4000

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14.Maumelle Event Center

Maumelle Event Center
© Maumelle Event Center

Named for its location on Maumelle Boulevard, Maumelle Event Center is an affordable and flexible event space that can easily be transformed into an unforgettable reception venue. The space is approximately 6,000 square feet, and it can accommodate more than 400 people with the right floor plan. Unlike many other venues in the city, the center is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, so you can rest assured that you'll be receiving friendly and attentive service every step of the way. Tables, chairs, and linens are included in the rental, and centerpieces and audio equipment can be rented for an additional fee.

10910 Maumelle Blvd, North Little Rock, AR 72113, Phone: 501-366-3809

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15.Next Level Events

Next Level Events
© Next Level Events


Founded in 1994 with the goal of making the event planning process as easy and stress-free as possible, Next Level Events is a beautiful reception venue suitable for both small and large weddings. There are three rooms to choose from depending on the size of your guest list; the smallest space can hold up to 40 people, while the largest is reserved for gatherings of 200 people or more. No matter which space you book, the venue offers all-inclusive packages that take care of everything from the food and drink to the flowers and decorations.

1400 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-376-7700

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16.NOAH'S Event Venue

NOAH'S Event Venue
© Igor Dudchak/stock.adobe.com


As one of the largest event planning companies in the country, NOAH'S Event Venue is widely known for its stunning event spaces and its professional services, and the Little Rock branch is no exception. The company prides itself on offering a wide range of packages for couples to choose from, including both DIY and all-inclusive options, and it has an open vendor policy that allows for almost any catering and entertainment to be brought in. A prep kitchen is available for caterers to use, and complimentary set up and tear down is always included in the rental rate.

21 Rahling Cir, Little Rock, AR 72223, Phone: 501-413-7924

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17.Pinnacle Valley Receptions

Pinnacle Valley Receptions
© Pinnacle Valley Receptions


Owned by an experienced event coordinator, Pinnacle Valley Receptions is an affordable event venue with staff who love to help couples bring their wedding visions to life. Couples are welcome to bring in whatever vendors they like, but the venue is also happy to recommend their favorite service providers. There are two separate spaces to choose from, one with a beautiful custom-made stone bar and one with an audiovisual system, and each room can accommodate 80 or 90 people if rented on its own. Couples hosting a larger reception can also book the two rooms together if needed.

8501 Pinnacle Valley Rd, Little Rock, AR 72223, Phone: 501-673-3900

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18.Pleasant Valley Country Club

Pleasant Valley Country Club
© Pleasant Valley Country Club


Situated on a sprawling property on the west side of the city, the Pleasant Valley Country Club boasts scenic lakes, rolling green hills, and an excellent 27-hole championship golf course. Ceremonies are often held on the beautiful outdoor terrace, which overlooks the golf course and can seat up to 250 people, while receptions typically take place inside the club's elegant ballroom. Couples who would prefer their entire wedding to take place outdoors can also book the terrace for their reception. Food and beverage services are provided in-house, and the club's event staff can also help arrange flowers and decor.

1 Pleasant Valley Dr, Little Rock, AR 72212, Phone: 501-225-5622

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19.The Albert Pike Masonic Center

The Albert Pike Masonic Center
© The Albert Pike Masonic Center


An iconic Neo-Classical Revival building built in 1924, the Albert Pike Masonic Center has only been open to the public since 2014. The stunning three-story buildings offers several spaces perfectly suited to weddings, including an elegant formal dining room that can accommodate up to 450 people and a 774-seat oval auditorium with a stage and a breathtaking crystal chandelier. The stage has more than a hundred hand-painted scenic backdrops to choose from, and couples can use their favorite one free of charge. The rental rate also includes tables, chairs, silverware, china, glasses, and the use of a commercial kitchen.

712 Scott St, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, Phone: 501-375-5587

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20.The Capital Hotel

The Capital Hotel
© The Capital Hotel


Opened in 1876, the Capital Hotel is a historic wedding venue perfect for elegant receptions. The largest and most popular space for weddings is the hotel ballroom, a perfectly square room that can be entered from either side of the hotel's grand staircase, but there are also several smaller dining rooms available for more intimate receptions. Food and beverage services are provided by the hotel, and tables, chairs, linens, and dishes are include in the rental fee. Wedding guests can book their stay in one of the hotel's luxurious rooms, but in case the hotel is full, there are plenty more within walking distance.

111 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: 501-374-7474

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21.The Castle on Stagecoach

The Castle on Stagecoach
© The Castle on Stagecoach


One of Little Rock's most beautiful outdoor wedding venues, the Castle on Stagecoach is a breathtaking 100-acre estate with landscaped grounds, picturesque ponds, and a stone castle that looks like something out of a fairy tale. There are plenty of beautiful ceremony and reception sites to choose from depending on the size of your wedding, and a large white tent is provided for receptions. The property is also home to the Little Rock Carriage Company, and couples can arrange to be brought to their ceremony by horse-drawn carriage. A bridal cottage and grooms' quarters are available to use before the wedding.

6601 Stagecoach Rd, Little Rock, AR 72204, Phone: 501-960-0658

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22.The Empress of Little Rock

The Empress of Little Rock
© The Empress of Little Rock


Found in the city's historic Quapaw Quarter, the Empress of Little Rock is a beautiful Victorian mansion that houses an upscale bed and breakfast. There are a variety of wedding packages to choose from, ranging from intimate elopement packages to comprehensive outdoor wedding packages for up to 150 guests, and all packages include a night's stay in one of the hotel's luxurious honeymoon suites. Couples can even choose to book out the entire hotel and all its rooms for an entire weekend, and depending on the package you choose, the venue will also help arrange flowers, entertainment, food, cake, and much more.

2120 S Louisiana St, Little Rock, AR 72206, Phone: 501-374-7966

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23.The Villa Marre

The Villa Marre
© The Villa Marre

Best known for being one of the settings in the sitcom Designing Women, the Villa Marre is a gorgeous Italianate home that was constructed in 1881. The building's beautiful architecture conjures up visions of Italy, and it features unique touches like a mansard roof and a walnut staircase that makes the perfect backdrop for photos. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are available, and the home can accommodate 100 seated guests while the grounds and garden have space for up to 225. Thanks to the villa's convenient downtown location, wedding guests can easily stay at a different hotel if the villa happens to be full.

1321 Scott St, Little Rock, AR 72202, Phone: 501-904-7403

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24.Trapnall Hall

Trapnall Hall
© Trapnall Hall


Dating back to 1843, Trapnall Hall is one of the city's best examples of pre-Civil War Greek Revival architecture. The space is perfect for couples who want a vintage backdrop for their wedding, and it offers both indoor and outdoor spaces, including an enchanting walled garden, an elegant dining room, and a majestic front porch perfect for larger ceremonies. Receptions can also be held in the parlor, which features a lovely grand piano that can be used for entertainment if desired. Couples must choose from the venue's list of approved caterers, and tables, chairs, and dishes are included in the rental fee.

423 E Capitol Ave, Little Rock, AR 72202, Phone: 501-324-9716

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25.Twin City Limousines and Event Center

Twin City Limousines and Event Center
© Twin City Limousines and Event Center


Ideal for couples who want an upscale wedding celebration complete with limousine transportation, Twin City Limousines and Event Center offers a downtown event space and a fleet of limos available around the clock. The recently restored event center is a lovely blend of historic charm and modern amenities, and it has an open floor plan that makes it easy to customize your floor plan however you like. Couples can bring in their own vendors or ask the venue for recommendations, and of course, limo transportation can be arranged to transport you to and from the celebration.

901 Main St, Little Rock, AR 72202, Phone: 501-940-4600

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25 Best Wedding Venues in Little Rock, AR



Attraction Spotlight: Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock

2016 marks the 75th diamond anniversary of the Historic Arkansas Museum. Just below the southern bank of the Arkansas River, in the oldest part of Little Rock, Arkansas, it shows daily life in the 1800's. Alternating among its five historically-preserved buildings and grounds, the museum's dedicated re-enactors bring Arkansas' frontier history to life.

The Historic Arkansas Museum is acclaimed for its sensitive portrayal of Arkansas' Indian heritage, for its breadth and scholarship in Arkansas artifacts and textiles, for its outreach to schools and inter-active teaching, and for its showcasing of Arkansas artists, musicians, and craftsmen. The museum regularly has cultural and historic programs to demonstrate all things Arkansas.

The Museum owes a great debt to three exemplary Arkansas women. The first was Louise Watkins Loughborough, who, in 1939, saw the worth of a group of neglected, dilapidated houses on Block 32 of the Capital City, and endeavored to lobby the Arkansas Legislature for the funds to restore and preserve them.

These buildings were not just any buildings. The Hinderliter Grog Shop is the oldest building left standing in Little Rock. Another, the Woodruff Print Shop, printed the Arkansas Gazette in the 1820's and 30's, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi.

Loughborough's efforts brought about the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, as the museum was then named, and opened its doors for the first time in July of 1941. For the next 30 years, Louise Loughborough directed the Territorial Restoration, and, with the aid of architects and preservationists, added to the historical accuracy, vibrancy and usefulness of the buildings today.

The opening of the Museum showcased textiles and furnishings of the 1800's, and was significant for bringing two other feminine benefactors to the Museum. The first, Peg Newton Smith, volunteered, in costume, on the museum's opening day, and became a life-long volunteer and commissioner of the Museum. Along the way, Peg Newton put her love of the arts and her love of Arkansas into her vision for the future of what the museum was to become, and thanks to her, very early on, a separate gallery was set aside for showcasing Arkansas art. Peg loved Arkansas artists and artisans and believed that the museum could offer major support for the artistic communities in the state. She endeavored tirelessly on their behalf, so that now many hundreds of contemporary Arkansas artists have exhibited at HAM. The Museum Store, replete with crafts from all over the State, was also her brainchild, another vehicle for artists and artisans to display their work and to get paid for doing it. In her honor, a large sculpture was commissioned to express Peg's spirit, called ‘ pARTty for Peg', by Arkansas artist Alice Guffrey Miller.

On opening day in 1941, another young woman arrived to volunteer at the museum, and soon she and Peg Newton Smith became life-long friends and collaborators. Mary Sandlin Fletcher Worthen, for the next 70 plus years, added her considerable energy and talents to the museum. Besides an abiding love of history, she added her love for music, art and gardening. The medicinal herb garden at the Homestead is now named in her honor. Her son, Bill Worthen , will retire at the end of 2016 after 44 years as the museum's director. In his honor, the Bill Worthen Future of History Fund has been established, dedicated to "inspiring the Next Gener- ation of Arkansas History Lovers." The Worthens, together, encompass the museum's entire 75 year history, and are a testament to the love and esteem that many in Little Rock hold for this museum and its legacy.

The permanent collections are comprised of: Arkansas Made, The Knife Gallery, We Walk in Two Worlds, pARTy for Peg, and the five historic homes and their grounds.

Arkansas Made

The seven galleries of Arkansas Made, comprised of art and artifacts, is considered the state's premier collector of Arkansas-made decorative, fine, and mechanical arts, and seeking out the art in everyday objects made in Arkansas, which reflect the artistry, craftsmanship, creativity and vision of Arkansans.

Photographs, pottery, quilts, furniture, furnishings, jewelry and paintings-from 1850's cabinetry to 20th century baskets- strive to reflect the lives and loves of Arkansans from the early 1800's to the present.

To this end, the staff of the Historic Arkansas Museum has spent decades combing census records and newspapers to identify artisans, silversmiths, cabinet makers and portraitists, and more. They have travelled the state, looking for these 19th century works. Some have been added to the collections. Others have been documented. All have added to the understanding of Arkansas history and its sensibilities.

This research has culminated in the first two of a four volume set called "Arkansas Made: A survey of the Decorative, Mechanical and Fine Arts Produced in Arkansas, 1819-1870", and was published in 1990 and 1991 by the University of Arkansas Press. The 3rd and 4th volumes will comprise the 20th century.

We Walk in Two Worlds

This exhibit speaks to the history of the first inhabitants of Arkansas, the Caddo, Osage and Quapaw Indians. Their history is told through artifacts and research. About 160 objects of pottery, clothing and weapons are on display. There are six thematic areas, arranged chronologically. Included are passages of research from historians, archeologists and ethnographers.

During the two years preceding the exhibit, tribal members from each of the three tribes were extensively interviewed. Their voices come through the exhibit, educating and guiding visitors by their experiences and thought. This exhibit thus allows the museum to share a broader understanding of frontier life in Arkansas in the 1800's. To this end, the museum has developed related programming for all the school children of Arkansas, and the museum brings guest speakers and artists relating to the exhibits to the community at large.

Knife Gallery

More than a hundred knives are showcased in this exhibit, many from the antebellum period, of various sizes and shapes, many with ornate markings. The Bowie knife, considered Arkansas' most famous knife, was named after Jim Bowie. The exhibit includes the history and art of blacksmithing, as well as that of bladesmithing.

Jim Bowie became famous for his knife-fighting abilities in 1827. James Black, a blacksmith from Washington, Arkansas, made one, and possibly, two knives for Jim Bowie, thought to be in the collection. At the time of Bowie's death in 1836, at the Alamo, the bowie knife was well-established as a form of self-defense against the swords of the day.

Arkansas was the western frontier in the 1820's, as the bowie knife first made its appearance. But, by the time the Civil War came, bayonets, rifles and revolvers diminished its usefulness.

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pARTy for Peg

This exuberant, large white aluminum sculpture, made by Alice Guffrey Miller in 2010, to commemorate Peg Newton Smith's innumerable contributions, was made as a permanent exhibit to the north plaza of the main building of the museum. In this sculpture, square dancers and a fiddler, with Peg , are all dancing together. Visitors are invited to walk or dance among them. The artist asked for objects from all of Arkansas' 75 counties. Receiving them, she imbedding them into the sculpture's pedestals.

Five historical houses comprise the offerings at the Historic Arkansas Museum. Four of them were restored where they sit and one was transplanted from 20 miles away. All these properties are shown daily, on an alternating basis, as part of the museum's commitment to show Arkansas history as an interactive experience. The museum maintains a full-time bladesmith, who makes nails, horse shoes, knives and farm equipment at the blacksmith shop in the Homestead, (opened in 2011). Everything made and used here is original to the period. Living history is a big part of what makes the Historic Arkansas Museum unique in its desire to bring Arkansas history alive for everyone.

Woodruff Print Shop (1824)

William Woodruff moved to Arkansas from New York in 1819, and began printing the Arkansas Gazette, the territory's first newspaper. When Little Rock became the first territorial capital in 1821, he moved there, and for three years, from 1824-1827, he lived and worked from what has become one of the highlights of the museum. Inside this structure, meticulously reconstructed in 2010, are some of the original furnishings and a replica of the Ramage press that he brought with him to Arkansas by keelboat. The medicinal herb garden, dedicated to Mary Worthen, is comprised of native and imported plants, used by Native Americans and by the settlers for healing. It is maintained by the Arkansas Chapter of the Herb Society of America.

Plum Bayou Log House

In 1856, the house was found abandoned and in great disrepair by the Pemberton family, which repaired it when they first moved from North Carolina to Arkansas. Logs from ancient cypress were used, and the chimneys were made of brick. The house was moved 20 miles in the 1970's, to its current location on the northern side of the museum.

1850's Farmstead

This was the Pemberton family's main house, and it's next to the log house, their original home. This is a working farm; it has a barn, a slave cabin, privy, smokehouse, blacksmith shop and raised garden beds. The Farmstead was home not only to the Pembertons, but to their slave, John Perry and his wife and two children. After the War, the Perrys elected to stay, becoming prosperous as farmers. The Farmstead is surrounded by a snake rail fence, common in the 1850's, added in 2005 to the property, as were the gardens and two log structures.

McVicar House - late 1840's

Built of white oak logs and square pegs, James McVicar built this wooden house, on the same block that his friend, Robert Brownlee, built his brick home. Both homes follow the symmetrical 1840's style with a large central hallway, bordered by two rooms of equal size. McVicar was single, ran the local penitentiary, owned slaves, was a Mason and a veteran of the Mexican War. He and his friend Brownlee left in 1849 to try their luck in California's Gold Rush. Later, McVicar returned to Little Rock, and married.

Hinderliter Grog Shop (1820's)

This building was made of logs in the mid 1820's by Jesse Hinderliter, and it served as both his home and business. With him lived his wife and two slaves, until 1834. Folklore says it is where the last meeting of the territorial legislature took place in 1835. The grog shop was made of red oak logs and of cypress flooring. It had a hand-carved federal mantel.

Robert Brownlee House

This federal brick house was built by Robert Brownlee in the late 1840's for his brother and sister-in-law. Brownlee was a Scottish stonemason, who moved to Little Rock in 1837 to help build the State House (now the Old State House Museum). Brownlee left for the California Gold Rush with his friend James McVicar in 1849.

Current exhibits vary in length from 2-3 months to a year's length. There is always an exhibit of current Arkansas art and interactive exhibits at the Sturgis Children's Gallery. Many current exhibits are showcased in 2nd Fridays, which spotlights a new exhibit every 2nd Friday of the month, usually with an Arkansas band or other musical entertainment, and often showcasing a different Arkansas brewery.

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Attraction Spotlight: Arkansas Governor’s Mansion

Located in Little Rock, the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion has served as the official residence for the state’s Governor and First Family since 1950 and is part of the city’s Governor’s Mansion Historic District. Until 1950, the state of Arkansas provided no official residence for its governor. Campaigns throughout the 1940s were enacted to change this policy, spearheaded by Agness Bass Shinn, president of the Arkansas Federation of Women’s Clubs.

History

Though an initial 1945 campaign failed to gain traction within the state’s legislature, a second campaign in 1947 resulted in the passage of Act 257, which allocated $100,000 to the creation of a Governor’s Mansion Commission.

The Commission selected the site of the former Arkansas School of the Blind, located at 1800 Center Street, as its future governor’s mansion site. A new structure was constructed on the property beginning in 1947, using salvaged bricks from the original School of the Blind as part of its foundational structure. Additional funding for the mansion’s construction came from 1949’s Act 401, resulting in the completion of the facility in 1950. Though no formal dedication was held for the facility, its occupancy beginning in February of 1950 by Governor Sidney S. McMath is widely considered as its official historical opening. Since 1950, 11 governors have held residence at the mansion, including Bill Clinton, who went on to be elected 42nd President of the United States, and Republican presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee. After Clinton’s election as President, the mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Permanent Attractions and Exhibits

In addition to its use as a governor’s residence, the mansion is operated today as a living history museum, offering visitor tours of its eight-and-a-half-acre grounds and facilities. Tours are free and open to the public, although individual scheduling is necessary, as tour groups may only be accommodated on days when official state proceedings and events are not scheduled at the facility. Specialized tours are available for school groups, business groups, and other small groups and organizations. The three-story mansion was constructed in a colonial Georgian Revival style by Little Rock architectural firm Cromwell Architects, with dual colonnaded walkways linking the mansion facility to two cottages.

A Grand Foyer with a granite tile floor furnished by the Batesville Marble Company serves as a gathering place and starting point for tours. Three rooms are accessible on the mansion’s first floor, including the Formal Living Room, which serves as a formal meeting space for visiting dignitaries. The room contains the mansion’s oldest piece of furniture, an Irish cabinet clock manufactured in 1770 and given as a gift to 35th Arkansas Governor Francis Cherry. A State Dining Room, hosting formal state dinners, contains 24 Chippendale-style chair with handcrafted needlepoint seats arranged around a Duncan-Phyfe Empire table, with a French Louis XVI chandelier anchored around a hand-blown bell hung above. The dining room also contains the Heppelwhite sideboard, which houses pieces from the U.S.S. Arkansas’ silver collection, including a punch bowl crafted from 3,000 silver dollars collected by the state’s students. The mansion’s Library, which serves as a meeting place for talks with legislators, contains a small book collection donated by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The back porch of the mansion is now enclosed by a large glass Atrium, which connects the facility to a Grand Hall constructed in 2003. A 220-seat ballroom space, the Grand Hall serves as a site for formal receptions, containing a staircase with a runner displaying the names of all of the state’s governors since 1950. A six-by-eight-foot chandelier, named the Arkansas Chandelier, utilizes native rock crystal to create adornments representing state emblems such as the state flower, state tree, and state insect. The Lower Atrium area serves as a small art gallery, highlighting multidisciplinary works by Arkansas artists and crafters, along with a portrait gallery of all gubernatorial residents of the mansion.

The mansion’s grounds were re-landscaped in 2006 by P. Allen Smith and are divided today into several distinct garden spaces. An Entrance Garden in front of the mansion features a bronze bust sculpture of Bill Clinton, while a Parterre Garden off the Grand Hall is arranged in a diamond pattern to symbolize the state’s diamond production. Other gardens include a Rose Garden, a Vegetable Garden, which contains a miniature mansion children’s play area, and an Herbary, originally cultivated in 1978.

In addition to its notoriety as an historic landmark, the mansion has also been popularized in modern media as a film set, used as a home for prominent characters on the television shows Designing Women and 30 Rock.

1800 Center St, Little Rock, AR 72206, Phone: 501-324-9805

More Things to Do in Little Rock, Things to Do in Arkansas

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