1881 Second Empire – Little Rock, AR

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Added to OHD on 10/18/18   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   50 Comments

1321 Scott St, Little Rock, AR 72202

Map: Street

  • $675,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 4847 Sq Ft
  • 0.56 Ac.
Villa Marre built in 1880 used as the home for the tv showing Designing Women. The home has a facade easement. Huge over-sized rooms, two parlors, dining room, large vintage kitchen, sweeping staircase, 1.5 baths, 3 bedrooms. Also included in the sale is a triplex- The triplex is three one bedroom apartments. Has been used as a private residence and an event house. Full basement. Slate roof. BANK OWNED NO DISCLOSURES, PROOF OF FUNDS. Both CAPITOL ZONING and MacArthur Park jurisdiction.
Contact Information
Tony Curtis, Tony Curtis Realtors
(501) 374-1221
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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50 Comments on 1881 Second Empire – Little Rock, AR

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  1. Tracy says: 91 comments

    What an awesome place…

  2. Robt. W. says: 349 comments

    The seeming contradiction that a 1.5 story house, even one so highly articulated as this one, has such large rooms and high ceilings is appealing. Handsome interior spaces and original details, and the modern finishes in 19thC taste (paint schemes and stenciling) are nicely selected to emphasize the architecture. Great house.

  3. amanda upshaw says: 1 comments

    This was once upon a time my aunts house sadly I have never had the pleasure of going inside of it.. SO thanks for all the pictures

  4. Justin says: 1 comments

    You can view inside now as it is used for weddings, photography, etc 🙂 I was just there this weekend.

  5. Robert Curtis says: 1 comments

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that just around the corner is the Arkansas Govenors Mansion which was used as the outside of Susan Sugarbakers ( Delta Burke ) house on the TV series during the earlier seasons of Designing Women.

  6. Sharon says: 42 comments

    That one image of the floors! The “show-off” floor. It makes me imagine a time of apprentices and master-craftsmen, of patience and details, of construction sites without electric-powered drills, saws, and nail-guns.

    The craftsman arrives in his horse-drawn wagon. And the owner tells him, “Here. In this room. This spot. I want to see everything you can do. Everything you’ve ever done. Everything!”

    “As you wish, sir.”

  7. RosewaterRosewater says: 7677 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Once again Little Rock stands a step above all other wildly exuberant Victorians. The crazy quilt parquetry is quite BEYOND anything I’ve ever seen. Whether everything we see is original, or possibly period correct later additions from the 60’s “restorarion” is hard to say, but the overall gestalt is SUPERB! Hopefully the new owner will respect the condition they find the place in and keep “Suzanne Sugarbaker” and her set far away! Heheheh..

    • John Shiflet says: 5917 comments

      Jeff, I readily agree with your statements. I also find it interesting that the exterior historical narrative plaque indicates the house was restored in the mid-1960’s; a remarkably early date in the historic preservation movement because the National Trust for Historic Preservation was not established until 1966. The old darkened shellac finishes indicate they were probably never stripped. I concur with you that the Victorian “crazy quilt” pattern of inlaid patterned parquet flooring is unique but it is typical of the architectural whimsy of the Victorian era. Here’s a period flooring catalog showing the amazing variety of floor patterns available back then: (1893) https://archive.org/stream/interiordecorati00jwbo#page/n0/mode/2up By the way, I suspect the fancy flooring dates from the 1890’s rather than being original. (1880) Quite an impressive house overall in a stellar location which probably accounts for its pricing. I wish it were in my price range…

      • Robinjn says: 242 comments

        John, thank you for the link to the booklet. As a graphic designer and student of typography I could be ecstatic just to own that booklet.

        • John Shiflet says: 5917 comments

          Robin jn, You’re welcome. You are probably aware you can download for free (and own it) the flooring catalog from the Internet Archive. If you or anyone else is looking for specific architectural or art/decor period archival publications, let me know and I’ll try to find them online. Many publications are still sitting in institutional libraries and collections but a surprising number have been made accessible online in recent years. (a trend that I hope continues for low budget research types like myself)

          • Susan McLaughlin says: 1 comments

            John, That’s fantastic! I’m with you, I’m always researching old buildings, from cottages to waterfront estates and this is a find! I just found the archives of a custom lighting fixture manufacturer, E.F. Caldwell, and was able to view my sconces and the work order for the house they were made for. As I drive around, seeing tear-downs on every street, I’m glad to connect with “My People” here.

      • Sandy BSandy B says: 939 comments
        OHD Supporter

        2001 craftsman farmhouse
        Bainbridge Island, WA

        Thanks John, that amazing booklet certainly takes some of the mystery out of many of the exuberant floors we see posted here.

        • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5917 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1897 Queen Anne Colonial
          Cadiz, OH

          You’re welcome. Perhaps it makes it less exotic to learn that these fancy inlaid floor patterns were mass produced in factories rather than by a talented carpenter who laboriously hand cut and fitted intricate floor patterns one piece at a time. Such time consuming and exacting work was more common before the 1880’s when factory made patterned flooring made such former luxuries affordable to the middle class. By the time the Arts & Crafts Movement and a return to simple interiors took hold around 1910, fewer and fewer new homes featured patterned flooring. The “crazy quilt” random patterned floor in this house is unique in my experience. A plausible explanation was that the installer put in patterned floors on a regular basis and decided to have some fun with bits and pieces of left over flooring that demonstrated the installer’s skills as well as being more economical by using pieces that otherwise might have been discarded. Now, if only that company were still in business I think we might see a current revival in patterned floors as many prefer wood and tile flooring in their homes these days.

          • Kfidei says: 422 comments

            That was my first thought too, maybe they were using up leftover scraps, just as any thrifty housewife of the era would save fabric for quilts. I marveled at the prices in the booklet… it doesn’t seem possible!

      • John Decker says: 2 comments

        I’m really interested in floor patterns and borders. I saw the name of the book in your reply regarding this house with its beautiful floors. I want to get my hands on anything to do with floor patterns. We’re in the process of slowly restoring a Victorian and a 2-story Tudor Revival. I’m interested in all eras of patterns. Can you tell me how I can get a copy of this book and any other book of vintage patterns? Thank you, John

        • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5917 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1897 Queen Anne Colonial
          Cadiz, OH

          Hi John Decker,
          The catalog I linked to is found on the Internet Archive and thus is available for free reading and downloading: https://archive.org/stream/interiordecorati00jwbo#page/n0/mode/2up Another catalog featuring over 600 pages is from the giant Chicago house parts supply company, Foster-Munger. Here’s their catalog turned to the section on patterned flooring but there is so much more: https://archive.org/details/TheFosterMungerCo.CCA114238/page/n537 They either made in-house or supplied almost every part that transformed a plain house into a “fancy” house and shipped their products to every corner of the country by rail.

          This catalog is also on the Internet Archive which has a vast number of period building and architectural related books and catalogs. Many are listed and are available from the Archive’s Building Technology Heritage Library which has almost 10,000 items: https://archive.org/details/buildingtechnologyheritagelibrary?&sort=-downloads&page=16 For those with even more patience and time, there are additional books and catalogs available from the Internet Archive as well as Google Books. Google has copies of the popular Victorian era trade magazines like Carpentry & Building; The National Builder magazine, Inland Architect & Building News, and more. I personally find it very rewarding that from the comfort of home I can read many of the original publications the architects and builders of the 19th and early 20th centuries used. Just a decade or more ago, such vast information resources were not available online. With the free download feature, anyone can build their own reference library focused on their personal topics of interest.

          • John Decker says: 2 comments

            Fabulous! I’ve worked for 30 years on Victorians and always looked for designs–But found only some simple floors usually without a border. So I made one (border) of my own but it too is simple. The best part is that I can use the patterns in the windows I’ll be doing. These buildings in these listings would have been great, but I’ve got to finish these we have. Then maybe get one of these outside of California. Thank you again so much.

            • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5917 comments
              OHD Supporter

              1897 Queen Anne Colonial
              Cadiz, OH

              You’re welcome. There are still a few firms specializing in pattern flooring as well as Marquetry inlay or Intarsia. Here’s a Pennsylvania based firm that apparently uses laser cutters for some of their intricate patterns: https://www.czarfloors.com/index.asp Unlike the late Victorian era when patterned flooring added a modest amount to the cost, I’m sure the same products today are anything but modest in cost. It boggles my mind that in 1893 you could buy some of the incredibly intricate patterns offered in the catalog for little cost. The period products held up well because a fair number of these patterned floors still survive as seen here. The thinner 3/8ths inch flooring (made to be put over existing flooring) will take about one careful sanding and no more while the 7/8ths version is the same as most common hardwood flooring and can be re-sanded more than once. Heavy sanding of antique floors is not recommended as it removes all of the patina of age.

  8. Jules2Jules2 says: 24 comments

    Gorgeous! That staircase. That woodwork. Those floors. Stunning.

  9. dkzody says: 227 comments

    I love looking at these old homes (a guilty passion) but rarely do I want to live in one. This one, this one would be the one. I would even consider moving to Arkansas to live in such a place. However, I would still need staff to take care of it.

  10. SueSue says: 1100 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    What a stunning place. I am truly wishing I could have this home.

  11. RossRoss says: 2457 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS




  12. Michael Mackin says: 3583 comments

    Stunning spaces and high ceilings! I love it!

  13. jeklstudio says: 1067 comments

    To reply to dkzody above, I can’t imagine ever living in anything but an old house, LOL. My hub and I have only lived in old houses (except when living in FL accidentally for 4.5 yrs.) We love everything about living ‘old’ as we say and this house is no exception. Simply incredible. The artistry of the wood! The design of the rooms, the way the light comes in…*sigh*.
    I thought the façade looked familiar when I first clicked on it–the Designing Women connection….

  14. Robinjn says: 242 comments

    So experts, are those crazy quilt parquet floors common? That is just amazing craftsmanship. Not to mention the rest of the floors.

    There is not one single thing in this house I do not love. Exterior. Interior. Yard. the stenciling. The staircase. THAT FLOOR.

    • Robertcn says: 70 comments

      I think that the floor borders were sold by the foot and came in random lengths. Possibly these are the remnants from other rooms and quilted together. Remarkable craftsmanship!

      • John Shiflet says: 5917 comments

        Robert, I think you are spot-on and the installer/carpenter must have had a sense of whimsy shared by the homeowner(s). However, although I have seen a sizeable number of patterned floors, I’ve yet to see another one like this example.

    • Danny Steele says: 1 comments

      My father was the Carroll L. Steele who is mentioned on the plaque listing those who were involved in the 1964-66 renovation of the home. I remember my father talking specifically about two things in the house, the staircase and the parquet floor (third picture from the bottom). He had to reconstruct the stairway using what few parts were left of the stairway plus making the parts that were missing. Unless you have been involved in the making of a spiral staircase, you can not imagine what is involved in doing so from scratch. The parquet flooring did not come in a kit. It was also made from scratch using a variety of different woods. He of course worked on other aspects of the renovation but these were the two parts I heard him comment about. By the way, I have the original Sugarbaker sign that was photographed for the opening scene on Designing Women.

  15. Kelly Johnston says: 1 comments

    More Villa Marre info here including the National Register nomination: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2108

  16. Carolyn E. says: 63 comments

    I love everything about this house! The rooms are beautiful even though they are empty. The staircase, the intricate floor design…is breathtaking! Would love to have friends over for luncheons, dinner parties, lovely evening gatherings, with everyone beautifully dressed and family and friends could stay as long as they liked, especially the grandchildren….wishful thinking.

  17. Amanda says: 45 comments

    I think I am dreaming and need to wake up. I would buy it just for the light fixtures and wall decor. heaven. what a way to start the day! imagine having this as your forever home. oh how lucky someone is going to be… look at my floors!! look at my lights!

  18. Jenny says: 50 comments

    Not my style of house to live in, but I deeply admire the craftsmanship. The staircase and that quilted floor overshadow all the other handsome woodwork. As a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’, I can’t imagine being so perfected in a craft to put out that kind of work. It’s stunning.

  19. pipa67 says: 20 comments

    I collect all ages of crazy quilts, I love the chaos..that picture of the floor is giving me ideas, I love it!

  20. dreamin'bout'oldhouse ownership ~Colleen~ says: 1024 comments

    Truly beautiful with a seperate rental unit to help with upkeep, what a treasure.

  21. Jennifer HT says: 732 comments

    Wow! Wow! Wow! What a stunning home. Those stairs, those floors, the attention to detail. I really quite love this and second empire has never been in my top styles. This home has me rethinking it.

  22. LorenN says: 77 comments

    Always wondered what the rest of the house looked like when watching “Designing Women” sitcom! Stunning home in every detail. I will say, for my own personal taste…I am not a fan of the very dark stain of wood in all the common spaces.
    Dark stain tends to show every dust particle; which, drives me nuts! That staircase, floors, lighting, exterior wrought iron, double entry doors etc. EVERYTHING is absolutely fabulous! Residual income apartments out back to help with maintenance, upkeep is a huge plus! A very lucky buyer, indeed!

  23. EyesOnYou1959EyesOnYou1959 says: 242 comments
    Lincoln, NE

    What a magnificent home! I would buy it for the staircase alone, lol.

  24. JimHJimH says: 5769 comments
    OHD Supporter

    My wife watched Designing Women religiously and I admit to enjoying it also. Like the show, the house is crafted of routine stuff (brick and concrete) but done with style and elegance that take it to a another level. Not all old houses are worthy of authentically detailed period restoration, but this one is and it would be wonderful to see what could be done here with a budget to bring it completely back to 1882.
    I’m curious about the corridor shown in the 2 photos after the stencil shots, with painted brick walls, exterior details, and what looks like a stair to below. I’m wondering if it was originally a transverse breezeway between the house and the kitchen?

  25. Sandra says: 285 comments

    I am thrilled with what the owners have and haven’t done to this house. It’s in such a beautiful state, restored but not remodeled. It’s not overdecorated either. Amazing.

  26. says: 17 comments

    Wow, gorgeous!

  27. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12812 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Reposted a couple of times, last in 2016. Hasn’t sold yet, appears to now be a foreclosure/bank owned.

    Comments above may be older, moved to front page.

  28. Nancy CNancy C says: 128 comments
    OHD Supporter

    abuts historic village Old Salem, NC

    Oh, to dream of living where Julia Sugarbaker “lived”! She is one of my imagined lunch partners, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and my Grandmother . . .

    It is splendid inside as well as outside — so well-restored it is almost too much. But look what they had to work with, a remarkable house being renewed remarkably. . .

  29. Anne M.Anne M. says: 1080 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1972 raised ranch.
    Hopkinton, MA


  30. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1059 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    This gorgeous house was on the market in May 2017 at a considerably higher price — $975,000.


  31. One of the houses I dreamed of living in as a child. I knew this house from the second I saw the picture. After seeing the inside of the real house I love it even more. Just my style!!

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