Violet Street, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Calling all friendly Southern retiree Victorian house devotees. This Old House has found the perfect neighborhood for you in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Bonus points if you like to walk, garden, watch horse races or sit in bathhouses.

This 1896 cheery red house isn't currently on the market, but it just may be the most perfect house in that perfect neighborhood.

The most recent listing photos show it unfurnished, but I was lucky enough to find older photos of it as well. Here are the living, sitting, and dining rooms now, and how they used to appear:

The kitchen is typical of an older home, when the emphasis was more on making food than on socializing near it.

Right behind the kitchen is a butler's pantry:

Right behind the butler's pantry is the den and wet bar (an addition to the 1896 spaces).

Here's a view of the three rooms together:

I did a quick mock-up of how the space would flow if the butler's pantry was removed to create one big combined kitchen and den.

That led me to this create this mock-up...

{Magnolia Homes/source}

Which helped me find this perfect inspiration photo:

Rounding out the first floor is this charming hallway...

which used to be even more charming...

that leads to the master bedroom with attached sunroom:

Here is the master bathroom:

Across from it is this wonderful hideaway space...

that was previously used as a home office:

We can just glimpse the first floor powder room behind the stairs. 

Upstairs are two more bedrooms. There are four in total (which must include the office) and four bathrooms in 3,529 square feet. Here is the only picture of them from the old listing:

Here's how they look now:

Outside a cozy courtyard is framed by all those wonderful rooms of windows.

This Old House likes this neighborhood, and probably would love this particular old house, because it's part of the Quapaw-Prospect Historic District of 230 homes built between 1890-1950. Joe and Gretta Kaufman were this house's most recent owners, and obviously wonderful caretakers of the home.

The neighborhood is just three minutes away from the historic Bathhouse Row.

{Mr. If It Were Mine + Library of Congress + Google Earth}

Long before magazines were touting Hot Springs as a destination for friendly Southern retirees, several Native American tribes would meet in peace at this "valley of vapors." Once Hot Springs became part of the Louisiana Purchase, developers were quick to swoop in to create a spa town. Because of this, Congress created the Hot Springs Reservation in 1832, making the area the oldest park in the National Park System.

But it didn't take long for magazines to make it their feature story. It was heavily promoted by 1896, when the house on Violet Street was built.

Nowadays magazines just have better camera equipment.

The (not currently active) listing is here.

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