At the beginning of the twentieth century, prominent cotton broker and financier Peter Hotze commissioned Little Rock (Pulaski County) architect Charles L. Thompson to erect a stately residence for his family at 1614 Louisiana Street.
Born in Innsbruck, Austria, on October 12, 1836, to Wolfgang Reinart Hotze and Mary Sophia Hotze, Peter Hotze was primarily raised by his mother after his father’s death. Upon his mother’s death in 1856, Peter and his brother Conrad immigrated to America, moving to Little Rock in 1857. Hotze then enlisted in the Capital Guards, which later became Company A of the Sixth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, a Confederate force. In 1864, Hotze was captured and became a prisoner of war at an Ohio camp, where he remained until the end of the war.
Upon his return to Little Rock, Hotze became a merchant and formed a partnership with his company commander, Captain John G. Fletcher. In 1868, Hotze married Johanne Krause, whose sister Adolphine Krause later married John G. Fletcher. (Their son, poet John Gould Fletcher, was born in 1886.) By 1869, Hotze had built a small Italianate house, now called the First Hotze House, at 1620 Main Street.
After Hotze and Fletcher decided to focus on the cotton trading business, Hotze and his family moved to New York City in 1873. For twenty-seven years, Hotze sold the cotton purchased by Fletcher in Little Rock to New York dealers. By 1900, the partnership of Hotze and Fletcher had peacefully dissolved, and both men had retired. Hotze’s wife died during the family’s time in New York City.
Hotze returned to Little Rock as a highly successful businessman of great fortune. His newly constructed home, built in 1900 at 1614 Louisiana Street, sealed his status among the Little Rock elite. Representing the classic Beaux-Arts tradition, the home was adorned with beveled glass, Honduran mahogany staircases, intricately inlaid parquet floors, interiors affixed by Tiffany’s of New York, and a massive semi-circular portico supported by two pairs of fluted columns. Peter Hotze’s daughter Sophia was married to Robert Wooldridge in the Hotze House with a wedding for 500 guests.
Hotze lived in the home with his daughter, Clara, and his son, Frederick, until his death in 1909. Sophia Hotze had a son, Peter Hotze Wooldridge, who lived in the house until he attended Harvard University. Frederick Hotze lived in the home until his death in 1972.
Several unsuccessful restoration attempts were subsequently made, but the home has remained unaltered since the 1990s. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 1975.
For additional information:
“First Hotze House.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PU3084.nr.pdf (accessed October 5, 2021).
Hotze Family Papers. Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
“Hotze House.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/PU1026.nr.pdf (accessed October 5, 2021).
Nichols, Cheryl Griffith. Little Rock: Driving Tours of Three Historic Neighborhoods. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 1989.
Roy, F. Hampton, Charles Witsell Jr., and Cheryl Griffith Nichols. How We Lived: Little Rock as an American City. Little Rock: August House, 1984.
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