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story.lead_photo.caption A fire early Thursday heavily damaged this Fay Jones-designed house at 6725 E. Huntsville Road in Fayetteville, where former President Bill Clinton lived from 1973 to 1975 while teaching at the University of Arkansas. - Photo by Andy Shupe

FAYETTEVILLE -- A burned-out house that was once home to Bill Clinton won't be reconstructed on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Walter Jennings, a Fayetteville architect, said he spoke with a representative of Crystal Bridges about the possibility on Tuesday.

"I heard back from them, and with 60 percent of it being destroyed, they don't think they'll be able to reconstruct it," Jennings said. "It's just not something they're going to be able to do. I understand why they can't do it. There's just not much left."

Jennings approached Crystal Bridges with the proposal on behalf of Stephanie and Robert Dzur of Albuquerque, N.M., who own the house at 6725 Huntsville Road, about 7 miles east of downtown Fayetteville.

The one-story house, designed by noted architect E. Fay Jones, was gutted by fire June 8. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but arson isn't suspected.

A rock wall and fireplace are salvageable, along with some of the beams on the east side of the house, said Jennings, whose father Maurice Jennings worked with Jones for 25 years.

Dr. J.B. Hays of Fayetteville said he is interested in buying the house, but he hasn't discussed a price with the owners. Hays, who owned the house from 2005 to 2010, said he wants to rebuild it at the original site.

The former president lived in the house from 1973-75, when he taught law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Clinton wrote about the house in his autobiography My Life.

The house was designed by Jones for Adrian and Marie Fletcher. It was built in 1957 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jones won the American Institute of Architecture's Gold Medal in 1990. The architecture school at UA is named for him.

Crystal Bridges has a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the museum grounds. The Bachman-Wilson House was constructed in New Jersey in 1956. It was taken apart, moved to Bentonville and reassembled there in 2015. Wright was Jones' mentor.

Fayetteville has 27 Fay Jones houses left, said Catherine Wallack, architectural records archivist for the Special Collections Department at UA. Wallack said Jones designed 207 buildings that were completed.

According to Washington County property records, the Dzurs paid $195,000 for the house and eight acres of land in 2011.

The Fletcher house isn't "the" Fayetteville house that comes to mind when most people think of the former president. Clinton bought a one-bedroom house at 930 California Drive in 1975.

Clinton and Hillary Rodham were married in the California Drive house and began their life as a family there. That building now serves as the Clinton House Museum.

This was the second former Clinton home to burn in the state over the past few years.

On Christmas Day 2015, a fire damaged the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home in Hope. It was repaired and reopened in July.

NW News on 06/21/2017

Print Headline: Museum won't take burned out Clinton house

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