Owners of a Van Buren home recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places have been presented a framed certificate acknowledging the property’s placement on the country’s official list of historically significant properties.
Bill and Anna Wilson own the Henry “Harry” Charles Pernot House at 119 Fayetteville Road. Built 1902-04, the house exhibits elements of the Queen Anne and Second Empire styles of architecture.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bob Freeman presented Anna Wilson with the certificate signed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Also on hand for the presentation were City Planner Joe Hurst, Historic District Commission Chairman Lisa Willis, HDC member Derald Porter and Julie Copple, planning assistant for the City of Van Buren.
The Historic District Commission also plans to present the Wilsons with a bronze plaque to denote placement on the National Register of Historic Places.
Anna Wilson said she and her husband have been living in the house since 1986 and have lived there throughout its renovation.
“It has been adventure and quite an experience,” Wilson said. “We stayed in the house for over a year while it was on stilts.”
She said the house was built at a cost of $1,500. It was placed on the National Register in September.
“Although the Pernot House includes many characteristically Queen-Anne style ornamentations, the form of the house is mainly Second Empire style in design,” according to the National Register nomination. “The Second Empire style was inspired by French Renaissance traditions and included steeply pitched roofs with towers and generally restrained window patterns. The Pernot House falls under the tower variant of the Second Empire style.”
The Pernot House is on the southwest corner of the intersection of Cedar Street and Fayetteville Road, just to the north of historic downtown Van Buren.
The lot that the Pernot House sits on is dramatically sloped from Fayetteville Road along the eastern edge of the property to the west. This allows for the house, which is two stories with a three-story tower along the eastern facade, to include a basement level that opens directly onto a rear patio and yard along the western facade.
Three brick chimneys pierce the roofline around the structure.
The front door is original to the house and highly detailed with stained glass squares surrounding a clear central glass panel as well as intricate trim detailing across the face of the door.
On the interior, much of the woodwork, including the central stairs, large sliding doors, door surrounds and doorway gridlework, are original and have been refinished.
Henry Pernot was born in 1855 in Van Buren and died Jan. 21, 1917, at the age of 62. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery.
He began construction of the house on Fayetteville Road in 1902 on land his brother purchased in 1891 for $542.60 from Lewis and Fannie Bryan. It was completed in June 1904.
Pernot, who never married, started and developed several business ventures, including a broom factory, photography studio and framing shop. He also operated a livery stable before being elected Van Buren mayor in 1904. He was then appointed postmaster of Van Buren, a post he held until his death.
After Henry Pernot’s death, his brother Sidney occupied the house with his family until his death in 1938.