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Owners of Eureka Springs Mansion Set Strategy for Ensuring National Treasure’s Preservation
23 February 2012 - 18:07, by , in news, No comments

Current Owners Will Offer Co-Ownership Interests Of The Queen Anne Mansion Preservation Trust

Having invested half a decade in the complete restoration of the unique mansion built by industrialist Curtis Wright in 1891, owners Steve and Lata Lovell have developed a strategy that will provide exclusive access to the gracious lifestyle of a bygone era while ensuring the long-term viability of the magnificent home and its valuable contents. Privately owned by the Lovells, the estate will evolve to a more widely held limited liability company allowing co-ownership of what will be known as The Queen Anne Mansion Preservation Trust.

This move will allow owners to open the door on an experience that echoes the rich and gracious lifestyle that existed among the wealthy in 19th century America. The innovative ownership model will consist of 60 equal owners. With a vision of preserving the 12,000-square-foot mansion, its antique collection, the landscaped grounds and the adjacent, Victorian cottage known as the Kelley House, the Lovells will release 12 of the 60 interests this Spring to bring the strengths, vision and talents of like-minded individuals to team ownership of the estate. The move comes at an unprecedented juncture for Northwest Arkansas which is experiencing a boom in tourism and development on the heels of the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in nearby Bentonville.

“Our interest in expanding ownership of the mansion is to attract others who share our passion for turn-of-the-century architecture and antiques as well as the timeless principles of this era – gentility, graciousness, civility, valor and integrity,” explained Steve Lovell a native Arkansan. “The mansion offers a quality of living that is so often missing from daily life in the 21st century.

“We looked at a number of options that would guarantee the mansion’s future and allow others to share the extraordinary experience of being able to live in it,” said Lovell, who with Lata, personally directed the restoration of the mansion and the Kelley House. “We think that this solution is both viable and innovative.”

“We have been told that the mansion as it is today, situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, is a national treasure,” noted Lata Lovell, “and we are committed to keeping it that way. We look forward to sharing ownership with others who appreciate its value and aesthetic.”

 

An Exemplary Mansion Reverts to Staffed Private Residence

The Queen Anne Mansion, constructed in Carthage, Mo. for Wright, his wife and their eight children, then disassembled and moved to Eureka Springs in 1984 by a subsequent owner, is exemplary of the American style of Queen Anne architecture and décor popularized by newly wealthy industrialists at the turn of the 19th century.

Purchased in 2005 by the Lovells who have an affinity for idyllic Eureka Springs coupled with a love for home restoration, The Queen Anne Mansion was reopened as a tour home and event venue in May 2010. Since then, more than 15,000 visitors, area residents, curators and historians from all over the United States and abroad have been drawn to admire the results of their extraordinary effort. In 2011, The Queen Anne Mansion was awarded “Business of the Year” by the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. It was closed to the public in December 2011.

Going forward, the mansion will operate as a private residence for the Trust owners with limited public events as approved by new ownership. “This will maintain the vibrancy of the mansion for the owners,” said Lata Lovell, “and will afford continued accessibility, though more limited, for the community.”

The mansion will be served by an experienced hospitality staff in residence which will manage all aspects of the operation for owners and their guests. Concierge staff will respond to owners’ needs during their stays. The vision will be to replicate a four-star and amenity-rich experience for owners.

 

A Repository of Priceless Antiques … and Memories of Buffalo Bill

In addition to restoring the landmarked exterior and the remarkable interiors down to the smallest, exquisite detail, the Lovells furnished the home with a unique and priceless collection of museum-quality period antiques, artifacts and decoration from world-class artists, craftsmen and furniture manufacturers. Knowledgeable curators and antique experts have lauded the restoration as extraordinary in its breadth and scope. To walk through the front door into the rich wood entrance hallway is to be transported to 19th century America where the well-heeled lived a lifestyle that was as gracious as it was luxurious. In the case of the Wrights (cousins of Orville and Wilbur), the always sociable family welcomed a host of interesting guests, including Buffalo Bill, whose memory inspired the décor of one of the restored guest suites. While the restoration has preserved the atmosphere of turn-of-the-century living, installation of state-of-the-art kitchens, luxurious bathrooms in each suite and, in the Kelley House, a private spa for owners and their guests, provide the comfort, beauty and functionality expected by today’s travelers.

Among the mansion’s attributes, apart from its signature Queen Anne style of architecture, are the asymmetrical windows and stained glass patterns, a geometric array of room layouts, and a secret sunken garden that define the mansion’s footprint. Interiors are warmed by hand-tooled woodwork and finishing throughout, courtesy of Wright’s furniture company and his access to the finest cabinetmakers and artisans of the time. Each room in the mansion is decorated with the finest available from one or more periods, including Federal, Empire, Rococo and Renaissance Revival. Beautiful and important pieces from cabinetmakers such as J.W. Meeks, John Henry Belter, George Henkels, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, Herter Brothers, William S. Wooton, Pottier & Stymus, and R.J. Horner adorn the public areas and suites. Treasured decorative pieces include those from the houses of Waterford, Limoges, Dresden, Flow Blue Willow and many others.

Eureka Springs and Northwest Arkansas – “Hot” in 2012

Eureka Springs is a jewel of the Ozarks region of Northwest Arkansas. Its entire historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Home to more than 400 artists, the region is a magnet for performing and fine arts and is a popular tourist destination, growing more so with the recent opening of the internationally acclaimed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Funded by an endowment from the Walton Family Foundation, the museum was founded by Alice Walton, who located it in Walmart’s hometown. As a result, Bentonville is experiencing an unprecedented level of attention. Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas have appeared on many lists of recommended destinations and is the only U.S. destination mentioned in Travel & Leisure’s “12 Hottest Travel Destinations for 2012”.

For more information on The Queen Anne Mansion Preservation Trust, contact: Steve and Lata Lovell, The Queen Anne Mansion, 115 W. Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR 72632; email: info@ownthequeenanne.com; www.ownthequeenanne.com.

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