Award-winning architectural photographer Timothy Hursley has focused his lens on everything from Andy Warhol’s last Factory in New York to Rural Studio buildings throughout Alabama—publishing books on both. Here, he shares the spots he frequents (and sometimes photographs) in his hometown of Little Rock.
“There’s a breakfast spot called The Root Cafe that’s very popular. It’s a nice farm-to-table place where I usually order the ham and cheese omelet with a biscuit and a cup of coffee. If the weather is nice, I sit on the patio; it’s a great way to start the day.”
“The new Arkansas Museum of Fine Art is the most architecturally interesting place in Little Rock right now. I’ve been photographing it regularly, focusing on the way they took the existing building—which was really just a hodgepodge of additions—and pulled it together. Floor-to-ceiling windows let you look down from the galleries at the newly relandscaped park, and there’s a weaving spine of beautiful wood running through the building. It’s pretty impressive what they’ve done.”
“We have an area called River Market with all sorts of restaurants and bars. The place I like the most is an eclectic seafood spot called Flying Fish. I always get the salmon, which comes with rice, beans, and grilled squash. It has a pretty cool atmosphere; the walls are lined with photos of people posing with fish they’ve caught over the years.”
FITS THE BILL
“After lunch, it’s an easy walk along the Arkansas River to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum—a place that needs to be on everyone’s Little Rock list. It was designed by James Polshek, a very well-known New York architect. The way it engages the river and the old bridges is special; it’s a pretty significant piece of architecture.”
A LITTLE CULTURE
“We have a neighborhood known as SoMa—South Main—with two galleries I really like: Boswell Mourot and M2. Both host really great openings with pretty big turnouts. The neighborhood is also home to the Esse Purse Museum, one of three purse museums in the world. That one is a lot of fun.”
“One of my favorite stores in SoMa is called Sweet Home and Clement. It’s a shop where you might see primitive antiques from Arkansas and antique folk art. One of my best finds is a primitive ship and seascape diorama.”
“If the weather is nice, Hill Station in Hillcrest probably has the best outdoor space of any restaurant in the city. You can order burgers and salads and drinks and sit in a parklike setting among the trees.”
“The historic Capital Hotel is close to my studio in the Capital View area downtown. It has an Italianate cast-iron facade with an outdoor mezzanine balcony. Their cool little bar, Capital Bar, stays open fairly late. I like to go there and get their margarita.”
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Southbound.