A non-profit organization created to preserve Terry Mansion

A lawsuit continues over the manipulation of abandonment by the Fine Arts Museum of Arkansas and the little rock town in maintaining the history Pike-Fletcher-Terry Mansion at Seventh and Rock. A complementary effort is currently underway.

The museum abandoned the building after using it for a time as a decorative arts space and washed its hands of it. The private foundation that controls the arts center has refused to account for how it spent the money, more than $1 million, donated to an endowment to maintain the structure. The owners gave the house to the city for cultural purposes and it too failed, although it recently set aside $500,000 for about $1 million in needed repairs.

The heirs to the property are suing for an accounting and, possibly, to repossess the property, but not for personal gain. Instead, they hope to provide a path for the house to be used for the public good as intended when the property was donated to the city in 1964. In that vein, they have announced the formation of a nonprofit lucrative for the cause.

A press release from their lawyer, Richard Mays.

The heiresses of Adolphine Fletcher Terry and Mary Fletcher Drennan, sisters
who in 1964 conditionally donated the historically and architecturally significant building
The Pike-Fletcher-Terry Mansion and Property in the Quapaw neighborhood of Little Rock in the City of Little Rock for the use and benefit of the Arkansas Center for the Arts, announced that they had formed a corporation for the purpose nonprofit named “Terry House, Inc.”

The Terry House, Inc. Board of Directors is in the process of being formed and a number
of highly qualified individuals, representative of the citizens of Arkansas, have
committed to serving on the board of directors. Their names will be announced when the Board of Directors is fully formed.

The Terry-Drennan heirs filed a lawsuit in Pulaski Circuit Court
County in October 2021, claiming that the city and the arts center violated the terms of the donation by failing to maintain the property in good repair and by not using it exclusively for the promotion of the cultural, artistic or educational interests of the community .

The deed provided that if these conditions were not met, the property
would go to the heirs of Adolphine Fletcher Terry and Mary Fletcher Drennan.

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, Inc. (formerly the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation), recently acknowledged that it no longer has any interest in the Pike-Fletcher-Terry mansion and property.

The Terry-Drennan heirs are not interested in profiting from the litigation.
They established the nonprofit Terry House Inc. to receive, hold, and use the property for the cultural, artistic, and educational benefit of the community in the event they were successful in the lawsuit. The society would take title to the property, raise and receive funds for its restoration and operation, and maintain the property for public purposes.

“This is a precautionary measure to provide a legal entity that could take the title and
manage the Pike-Fletcher-Terry home and property if we are successful in the trial,” said Susan Terry Borné, a granddaughter of Adophine Fletcher Terry. “The heirs do not want to acquire the property individually, but we want it to be used in the way that our grandmothers, Mrs Terry and Mrs Drennan, intended when they donated it to the City for the benefit of the Center des arts. .”

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Ms Beth Terry added.
Foti, also granddaughter of Adolphine Fletcher Terry. “We must first satisfy the Court that the terms and conditions of the deed by which the property was transferred to the city have been breached and that the property reverts to the Terry-Drennan heirs pursuant to that deed. We’re just setting up a legal entity to which heirs can transfer ownership if the Court makes that finding.

“Even though the City of Little Rock retains title to the property, and
participate in its upkeep and operation for the citizens of the State of Arkansas,” added Leonard John Drennan, grandson of Mary Fletcher Drennan, “the non-profit corporation will be a vehicle for private donations to help finance the mission of the house.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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