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Located at 423 E. Capitol Ave. in the MacArthur Park Historic District of Little Rock (Pulaski County), Trapnall Hall is an exquisite example of Greek Revival architecture. It was constructed in 1843 of brick at a time when most houses were made of either wood or rock. The architect is unknown.
The house was built for Frederic and Martha Trapnall. Frederic Trapnall was a lawyer who spent several sessions in the Arkansas General Assembly. Frederic fell ill and died in 1853, and Martha lived in the home until her death in 1861. Frederic’s brothers became the heirs to the property, and, as they lived out of state, quickly sold the home.
In 1929, Julia Taylor purchased the home and donated it to the Junior League of Little Rock in memory of her late husband, Charles Taylor. In 1963, the Junior League hired the Cromwell architecture firm to restore and preserve the estate. It is known as one of the first homes in the area to be restored.
The building served for many years as headquarters for the Junior League, until the league donated half of its appraised value to the state, along with the deed. Today, Trapnall Hall serves as the official receiving hall for the governor and is rented for special events and occasions. It is under the care and supervision of the Old State House Museum.
What is known as the Quapaw line runs along the western edge of the property. This line was the boundary created between the Quapaw Indians and the American government with the Treaty of Cession on August 24, 1818.
The house features a large central hall typical of antebellum homes and has a Jeffersonian portico. Trapnall Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 13, 1973.
For additional information:Calloway, Jan. The Trapnall Legacy. Little Rock: Arkansas Commemorative Commission, 1981.
“History of Trapnall Hall.” Old State House Museum. http://www.oldstatehouse.com/exhibits/facility_rentals/trapnall_hall/history.aspx (accessed April 30, 2014).
Roy, F. Hampton, Charles Witsell Jr., and Cheryl Griffith Nichols. How We Lived: Little Rock as an American City. Little Rock: August House, 1984.
“Trapnall Hall.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PU2782.nr.pdf (accessed June 9, 2015).
Danny Groshong Little Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 9/27/2017
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