Lovells Restructure Queen Anne Mansion in $10 Million Effort to Stabilize its Future

by Rob Keys  on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 11:51 am  

Reports also indicate the 21-room mansion was built at a cost of $22,000, and became the center of then-booming Carthage’s social scene. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and author Harold Bell Wright were among numerous famous guests said to have stayed at the Queen Anne.

By the 1980s, however, the property had fallen into disrepair and been put up for sale. Eureka Springs businessman Ron Evans later bought the mansion, which was disassembled, numbered piece by piece and transported in 40 semi-truckloads to its current location.

By the time the Lovells took ownership, the amount of restoration needed was almost overwhelming. A decision was made to strip the Queen Anne to its raw wood and put in all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

“We quickly realized there were two ways to go about it,” Steve Lovell said. “We could do it quick, fast and cheap or do it properly. We chose to do it properly every step of the way.”

That much is evident with practically every step one takes inside the property. The hand-tooled woodwork and finishing throughout the seven suites and parlor areas is stunning, as is the bevy of furniture and decorative pieces from the likes of George Henkels, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, Dresden and Waterford.

“I can say without worry or boasting this is the best quality restoration not just in Eureka Springs, but in this area,” Lovell said.

 

‘Labor of Love’

The 12,000 SF Queen Anne, in fact, opened as a museum and tour home in 2010 and operated that way for two tourist seasons, attracting more than 15,000 visitors. By August 2011, however, the Lovells realized such a model wasn’t feasible given the expense of maintaining such a property.

That’s when they traveled to Miami to learn more about fractional developments, which is different than timeshares in that purchasers of fractional developments gain an actual piece of the real estate rather than the right to simply use the property. In Miami, the Lovells met David Disick, the man generally credited with coining the term “private residence club.”

Disick said the idea of a private residence club is similar to that of a country club.

“It’s all about luxury and the experience,” said Disick, who also said annual sales in the luxury fractional segment grew from about $70 million in the mid-1990s to more than $2 billion by 2007.

 

 

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