North Little Rock’s most visible Queen Anne Victorian structure in the historic Argenta district, the Baker House, has been given a new life by a North Little Rock couple. Today, Nathan and Stacy Hamilton will reopen the property as The Baker, a boutique inn.
The Hamiltons purchased the property, located at 501 Main Street in North Little Rock, in November 2018 with a vision of bringing the 120-year old home into the modern era of guest lodging. Stacy Hamilton, a Realtor by trade, specializes in historic homes in Central Arkansas. Her expertise led the vision for the newly defined Baker.
Baker owner Nathan Hamilton said, “We re-envisioned the Baker as a boutique inn catering to today’s digitally savvy traveler. The Baker 501 Main now features modern, comfortable furnishings, a host of guest amenities, online reservations, self-check-in, and super-fast Wi-Fi wrapped in a beautiful Queen Anne exterior.”
A local contractor built the home in 1896 as a private residence for A.E. Colburn, a jeweler who lived in the house until 1901. In 1916, C.J. and Annie Baker purchased the home. It later became a bed and breakfast known as The Baker House, which closed in 2015, and the property was listed for sale until the Hamiltons purchased the home.
During the renovation process, the couple preserved one of the more remarkable original features of the home, the rare curly heart pine. Research revealed the wood was a rare building material. In the 18th and 19th centuries, loggers transported Long Leaf Pine logs on rivers in the Southeast United States. During transit, some loads would fall into the river. After the pine logs had been left and long-forgotten, young pioneers discovered the sunken treasures could be milled to reveal a beautiful pattern. As the Hamiltons began the reimagining of the Baker from old to new, they chose to retain the curly heart pinewood throughout the main house.
The blue pinecone in the Baker’s new logo is a nod to the rare curly heart pine, while the color in the logo is an exact replica of the new blue trim, seen freshening the Victorian home’s exterior. The property’s new website, StayAtTheBaker.com, tells the story of the Victorian home and invites guests to book a stay in one of the Baker’s five spacious rooms, the cottage at the front of the property or the entire property for an event.
The Baker is located on Main Street in the Argenta Arts District, within walking distance of dining and entertainment. Guests can enjoy breakfast at Mugs Cafe, hop on a yellow streetcar for free, catch live music and dinner at Skinny J’s or try local craft beer with Flyway Brewing or Diamond Bear. No doubt it will be sold out for major concerts at Verizon Arena, as well!