Tour Stop 7
Walker-Stone HouseDavid Walker was born in Kentucky and arrived in Fayetteville in late 1830, broke and needing work. He was trained in law and soon began his Arkansas law career with the Crawford County Circuit. From there he became a prosecuting attorney, member of the territorial legislature and constitutional convention, state senator, and an Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice.
He bought 5 town lots on this block on July 4, 1836, and built this house in the mid 1840's. It is a well-preserved example of the Georgian and Federal style of brick houses often found in the eastern United States, but rare in Northwest Arkansas. In January 1859 Walker sold the entire block to Stephen K. Stone, a leading Fayetteville merchant, for $4,000. You're looking at the back of the original house – Stone added the porch to make it face Center Street.
During Confederate General Fagan's bombardment of Fayetteville in October 1864 the west side of the house was hit by a cannonball, narrowly missing Stephen and his wife Amanda.
One of Stone's grandchildren who used to play in the yard went on to become one of America's most internationally acclaimed architects – Edward Durell Stone. Born in 1902, he studied architecture at the University of Arkansas for only one year before moving to Boston to work as an office boy and take night classes at Boston Architectural College and MIT.
One of his first jobs in New York City was to design the main lobby, grand ballroom and private dining rooms of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. He went on to design the Roxy Theater and Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the US Embassy in New Delhi, the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the General Motors Building in New York, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Stone was the subject of a cover story in Time Magazine in 1958, and was considered the best known architect in America after Frank Lloyd Wright. At one time he had more than 200 employees and had offices on both coasts. In 1968 he purchased his grandparents' house, restored it, and listed it on the National Register of Historic Places. Stone retired in 1974 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery just four blocks west.
Photo Courtesy of: Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville History provided by: Gary Coover, Coover Consultants