Malvern will soon be home to a beautifully renovated and historically significant vacation/multipurpose rental property, to be located near the heart of the blossoming downtown district of the city in one of the old Lawyer’s Row Historic District buildings on West 2nd Street.
Just off South Main Street, catty-corner to the Hot Spring County Courthouse, there sits a gem of a building hidden behind a sad, dark, grayish/green stucco façade. But when Hot Springs business owner Wallace Stone laid eyes on it, he quickly saw the potential of the space and jumped at the opportunity to acquire and renovate the former law office with the preservation and celebration of its rich history in mind.
“I want to preserve it as much as possible,” Stone stated. “It’s going to be cool when it’s done, and you’ll like hanging out in the space.”
Stone made a big name for himself in Hot Springs when he re-birthed a 3rd-floor loft balcony apartment in a contemporary version of the 1920s glamour and style that ruled the day when notorious gangster Al Capone frequented Hot Springs National Park during the height of Prohibition.
Hot Springs was a mecca for organized criminals, from the Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, up until illegal gambling was officially stamped out in the city in 1964. The loft Stone refurbished is located in the downtown district of Hot Springs, right in the middle of the action where Capone and his cronies partied, gambled, and hid in plain sight from the federal authorities while making backdoor deals with area bootleggers.
Stone embraced the history of the building, showcasing the amazing brick artwork and original artifacts found during the demolition, and instilled a modern elegance to the property located downtown along Central Avenue, directly across from Bridge Street—the site of the annual “World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade."
Stone’s lovely wife of six years, Lisa, helped him immensely throughout the project and brought her stylish flair when helping Stone pick furnishings for the space. They opened the rental unit for business as “Capone’s Loft” on St. Patty’s Day in 2019, and it quickly became the most popular vacation rental in all of Hot Springs.
Stone is currently renovating the Malvern historic building in that same spirit, and the scene taking shape in the old David D. Glover Law Offices, on the west end of Lawyer’s Row Historic District at 132 W. 2nd St., promises to preserve and highlight both the fascinating history of the former tenant, and the original beauty of the structure.
Lawyer’s Row Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015 and got its moniker from the nine decades of local attorneys who called the buildings home since the early 1900s.
Glover got in on the early stages of development of the district in 1910. With brand-new furnishings mere steps away from the courthouse, 132 W. 2nd St. was ideal office space for Glover, one of Malvern’s busiest and most successful personal injury lawyers at the time.
Born in Grant County and graduating from Sheridan High School in 1886, Glover worked in agriculture and in the mercantile business before becoming a teacher in Hot Spring County in 1898. He married Roberta Quinn, daughter of the first sheriff in Grant County, in 1891.
Glover began studying law in 1908. He got accepted to the bar and simultaneously became a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1909, serving in 1911 as well. Glover was also busy opening his law practice in Malvern in 1910 and settling into the offices on Lawyer’s Row.
Glover was a notable name around Malvern. He was also an important figure in Arkansas and U. S. legislative history. He served as prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Seventh Judicial Circuit from 1913-1917 and had a reputation as being formidable in the courtroom. He also spearheaded the building of the Capitol in Little Rock after the project suffered from mismanagement and poor construction in the beginning.
Glover was later elected to the Seventy-first, Seventy-second, and Seventy-third Congresses, serving in that capacity from 1929-1935. During his time in the nation’s capital, Glover was instrumental in securing federal funds and resources for his home state.
“He was an interesting fellow,” Stone stated. ‘He helped develop the [Arkansas] Capitol, he helped break Hot Springs off from Malvern.”
Glover’s grandson, Dorsey, practiced law in that same office on West 2nd Street alongside his father, after his grandfather’s passing. “I know that [my grandfather] introduced into Congress the bill that established the veterans hospital…that was probably the thing my grandfather was proudest of,” Dorsey stated of his grandfather’s memory and legacy.
Glover returned to Malvern after D.C., eventually retiring from law but remaining active and in charge by overseeing a local construction crew until he was 84-years old.
Glover built a sizable fortune by taking half of whatever settlement his clients received, and his infamous canned response to explain his hefty fees was, “I don’t know but one way to divide, and that’s by two.”
According to the book Arkansans of the Years, edited by Fay Williams, copyright 1952, Glover was an eternal optimist who felt he was blessed with the best of everything in life. He spent 25 years on the board of Ouachita College, now known as Ouachita Baptist University, and over 50 years as a Sunday school teacher.
Glover was reportedly a strict disciplinarian at home to his three daughters and six sons, but, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Glover gave great rewards for those great expectations. Glover gifted each of his children with a college education, as well as a new home of their own upon completion of their studies.
Stone will be dubbing the new property “Judge Glover’s Hideout”, and although Glover was never officially on the bench, the name is more than fitting. According to Arkansans of the Years, “[Glover] is a builder from inclination, a lawyer by profession, and has acquired the honorary title of ‘judge,’ which is often bestowed on highly respected veterans of the bar.”
Glover’s larger-than-life personality, major boss attitude, and take-no-prisoners approach to every endeavor, plus the impact he had on Arkansas history, have given Stone plenty to work with as he turns 132 West 2nd Street into an extraordinary historically-themed rental space.
Stone and his associates have already worked wonders in the old Glover building. They have torn out the old drop ceiling, allowing four additional feet of headspace, and they’ve removed several interior walls to open up the front area, which will showcase original wood floors and house a pool table and ultra-plush furnishings.
“So, this will be one big, open space,” Stone said as he gestured around the newly-gutted front area of the building. “This will be your living room, pool table, kind of a wet bar setup, and just a really cool hangout space.”
Stone said the ceilings at the building on West 2nd Street will be adorned with antique tin ceiling tiles similar in style to the ones he installed at Capone’s Loft. “We’ll have crown molding trim which will be metal—all the ceilings will be metal. There’s going to be a pool table in here, you’ll be able to sip your whiskey and wave at the mayor,” Stone playfully stated.
Stone has exposed the original brick that was hiding under the interior shell, and the true natural beauty of the building is slowly being revealed. “They wanted to cover brick up back in the day but we’re going to expose a lot of this, show the brick, so we got a lot of nipping and tucking to do,” Stone said.
“We’ll actually salvage this wood floor, which will be absolutely incredible, even if it’s got nicks, stains, cuts,” Stone stated. “We did the same thing at Capone’s Loft downtown—it was abandoned since the ‘30s…and it’s got so much character.”
Stone said they’ve come across some interesting finds during the initial stages of the renovation, such as an Old Crow whiskey bottle that they suspect might pre-date Prohibition, as well as old journals and a small skeleton key fit for an unknown purpose.
“All of these buildings, there’s loads of history if you Google it,” Stone stated. “All of them had historical significance except this one, even though it’s the oldest built in 1910, because someone covered it in stucco. So, we’re going to do our best to take the stucco off the front of the building.”
Stone said the property is going to be a one-bedroom that will sleep four people comfortably, with the help of a luxurious leather-tufted pullout sofa. In addition, the interior doorway leading into the kitchen will be higher, in keeping with the original design, and the kitchen itself will include modern appliances and a high-end gas stove. Stone said the bathroom will feature gorgeous marble tile similar to styles from that era and will be enlarged to add a huge walk-in shower.
When asked how long people could expect to wait before the property is complete, Stone replied, “I want to say six months, depending on waiting on contractors, so when we factor that in, it could be a nine-month project.”
“The loft took about nine months,” Stone shared. “We would have been done sooner, but you’re always waiting on somebody, especially now.”
Stone’s efforts at Capone’s Loft earned him runner-up status for the Preservationists of the Year Award, given by the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce. Stone also has an impressive and super-unique rental property on Lake Hamilton dubbed “Mermaid Manor”, which is proving to be the hottest rental property on the water.
When asked what brought him to Malvern, Stone said the current real estate climate in Hot Springs has made finding historic properties for sale there difficult. Stone learned a little of Malvern’s colorful history and decided to bank on the future of this small city that’s been coming back to life in the last few years.
“I love history. You can do a plain old building anywhere, but I love being unique and different,” Stone stated. “Unique, different, and unusual is a good thing. I don’t want to be normal.”
Stone’s talent for bringing something special to his projects is easily seen in the online photos of his other rental properties, and if the pictures and his reputation are any indication, Malvern will soon have a one-of-a-kind rental space that will likely enhance other local businesses also, by bringing more attention and visitors to the area.
Stone is a self-made man who had a troubled childhood but wanted more out of live. He believed in himself, studied the success stories and practices of others, and most importantly, consistently worked hard to achieve his goals. Stone is now an extremely successful real estate mogul with millions of dollars in property to his name.
Stone was recently named to the Board of Directors at Ouachita Children’s Center. He said receiving the news from OCC got him a little emotional because he, himself, was once in similar shoes to the children residing at the youth home.
“So right now, I’m starting a mentorship program,” Stone shared. He said he is thrilled to be in a position to offer guidance to children who are currently going through their own difficulties, as he can relate and offer hope and encouragement from a place of true understanding.
“The only thing I can do—I can’t counsel you. I can tell you where I’ve been and how I got there, but I know how to work,” he stated. “That’s what I know how to do, I know how to work.” Stone said he wants to help the kids at OCC realize that because they’ve already been through so much in their young lives, they can obviously handle anything, and they don’t have to let the circumstances of their present dictate their future.
Stone said the first project the kids in his mentorship program will complete is scheduled for April 9, when they’ll do some landscaping and enhancements at Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Hot Springs.
Stone said some troubling incidents of abuse took place at Cooper-Anthony in the past, and he hopes the visit will remind the OCC kids that other people have been through similar or worse struggles and came out on top, and that they can, as well. “We’re going to go to work. We’re going to put a garden in there, we’re going to do a flowerbed, we’re going to do many things.”
Stone said he is excited to get involved in local conversations and events taking place in Hot Spring County. He said he wants to join the Chamber of Commerce and possibly one or more of the local civic organizations in Malvern.
Stay tuned for further information about the progress being made in the Glover building and the official grand opening date of “Judge Glover’s Hideout”. Stone has posted an awesome series of short videos chronicling the progress he and his team have made renovating the building.
Check out the videos, plus pictures of Capone’s Loft, to get an idea of what Judge Glover’s Hideout may look like when Stone is done working his magic. The videos, as well as information and links to Stone’s other incredible rental properties, can be found at https://www.facebook.com/WallaceStoneDesign.