Originally constructed in 1890, the Prather House is located on Gaines Street in the southwestern quadrant of Little Rock’s Quapaw Quarter. The Quapaw Quarter is a section of Little Rock which comprises its oldest and most historic business and residential neighborhoods. The name Quapaw comes from a corruption or mispronunciation of a word for a Native American Tribe which originally inhabited the area where the city of Little Rock is now situated. This name was informally applied to the land west of the original city of Little Rock in the nineteenth century. Then, in 1961 the name of Quapaw Quarter was more formally assigned. Now, it is a well-loved and treasured historic district featuring constructions of the Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, Italianate, and Craftsman Styles.
Backstory and Context
Well-known Arkansas architect Frank Gibbs designed the Prather House for homeowners John and Grace Prther in his signature Queen Anne Style. In the United States, Queen Anne Style refers to a wide range of picturesque buildings which borrow freely from the architectural features of the Italian Renaissance and avoid the features of English Gothic. The Queen Anne Style dominated design from approximately 1880 to 1910, during which time frame the Prather House was designed and built. The Queen Anne Style includes architecture, decorative arts, and furniture. In architecture, the Queen Anne Style incorporates distinctive gables and turrets, asymmetrical facades, dominant front-facing gables which are often cantilevered out beyond the supporting wall, pedimented porches, balconies, overhanging eaves, leaded glass, dentils, balustrades, columns, multi-textured exterior skins, and wooden or slate roofs. The Prather House demonstrates the Queen Anne Style through its asymmetrical front face, gabled roof line, and windows with leaded glass decorative panels.