Curran Hall

615 E. Capitol St., Little Rock, Arkansas



Curran Hall, constructed in 1842-43, is a distinguished example of Greek Revival architecture. Historians believe noted architect Gideon Shyrock designed the house shortly after he planned the Old State Capitol Building and Trapnall Hall in Little Rock The house stands as one of the city's few surviving antebellum structures. The first owner, Colonel Ebenezer Walters, never occupied the house because of his young wife's untimely death. James Morre Curran, a young lawyer, purchased and lived in the house with his wife Sophia, who was the daughter of William Fulton, the last territorial governor of Arkansas and the state's first U.S. senator. After James Curran's death his wife married George Watkins who became a chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. During the Civil War and for several years thereafter the house was not occupied. Later the colorful character Jacob Frolich purchased the residence. He served three terms as post-Reconstruction Secretary of State in Arkansas from 1879-1885. Because of the turbulent times, Frolich fortified Curran Hall and installed strategically located trap doors in the floor. The next owner was Mary Eliza Bell, the daughter of Wiliam E. Woodruff who was founder of the Arkansa Gazette newspaper. Her descendant, Mrs. Averell Tate, now resides in the house. Due to the outstanding architectural design, long history, and important persons associated with the structure, Curran Hall is recognized as a significant nineteenth-century landmark. -- Historic American Buildings Survey

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 1, 1976
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1825-1849
Significant years
1842; 1843; 1879
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 3