This neoclassical house is one of the most noteworthy buildings in the Hillcrest Historic District. Though the area of Hillcrest where the house is located was still rather sparsely populated when built, the building was pictured in a 1911 promotional brochure for the neighborhood, which called the house “palatial and one of the finest homes in the South.” The location atop the highest elevation in Little Rock and the dramatic two-story front porch give it an imposing appearance. The house was designed by Little Rock architect Sanders for James McDonnell, a wealthy cotton broker and gin owner from Altheimer in Jefferson County. McDonnell’s wife, Susan, supervised construction of the building while he ran the family business. The McDonnells’ son, aeronautical engineer James McDonnell Jr., was one of the founders of McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft.
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