Monday, March 23, 2009

Bill and Hillary's old Arkansas home considered for National Register of Historic Places

The University of Arkansas put forth an application to designate the Fayetteville home where Bill and Hillary Clinton lived and were married in 1975 on the National Register of Historic Places.

Their home is an 1,800-square-feet,one bedroom/one bath, Tudor-style on California Boulevard, built in 1931. It is open to the public as the Clinton House Museum. It is owned by the University of Arkansas, and the museum is operated by the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission.

The plus side of this designation would be that it would provide funds for preservation, improve tourism to the area and protect the house from being altered anymore than it already has been.

Some cosmetic changes were made to the structure after the Clintons moved to Little Rock in December 1976 for Bill to become the state's attorney general. The harvest gold kitchen appliances are now black, a screened porch was enclosed, and the outside walls were covered with plastic siding.

But much of the home and its flavor remain the same as when the Clintons lived there, including the hardwood floors, the bathroom floor, and the tub and sink are original.

Kelli Nixon, the director of marketing there, said that when Hillary visited a couple of years ago, she remarked the bedroom closet is still identical as it was so many years ago - walls covered in the same dilapidated wallpaper and even the nails Bill hammered in the wall to hang his ties remain.

The story goes, Nixon said, that Bill bought the house in 1975 as a surprise to Hillary, who'd pointed it out while driving by. The home is just south of the UA campus where Hillary had taken a job at the UA Law School in 1974, teaching criminal law and trial advocacy and running the legal aid clinic. She flew to Illinois on spring break in 1975, and when she returned, Bill picked her up at the airport and drove to the home at 930 California Blvd., Nixon said.

"He told her, 'I bought this house, and I can't live here by myself. Will you marry me?'"

Pretty much everyone, not just the locals in Arkansas know the history of this house. I think it would be fun to take a Hill-grimage out to Fayetteville and visit the house... Road trip!

Read more on this story here.

4 comments:

DefiantOne said...

The picture of Bill holding a soccer ball and Hillary sitting on the ground is gorgeous. Where is it from? Is there a larger version?

Sarah said...

I just pulled this off of the Clinton Museum site for now. I know I've seen it larger in black and white but not color... I'll try to find the larger one!

That photo is also in Hillary's book, I think!

Kelli Nixon said...

You can visit the museum website at www.clintonhousemuseum.org. Click on the timeline button and advance through the photos. The picture was takin in Fayetteville, AR.

Kelli Nixon
Director of Marketing
Clinton House Museum

Sarah said...

Kelli Nixon- Thanks for the info! I really like the Clinton House Museum site. One day I'd like to make it out there!

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