In 1913, he chose the site at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Gaines Street, which was just on the outskirts of the downtown business district at that time.
The Hotel Frederica was erected in just 18 working days, which the local paper heralded as "a record-breaker for this section of the country." The five-story building had one bathroom on each floor for the guests to share. Rates at the original Hotel Frederica were $2.00 per night for a corner room, $20.00 per month, and only $0.50 for meals.
In 1935, Sam and Henrietta Peck purchased the hotel and began making changes to the physical structure, including indoor bathrooms and a sixth floor of penthouse suites. Under their ownership, the hotel was eventually renamed the Sam Peck, which is how many locals still remember it today. The Pecks lived on the fifth floor in the executive suites now named in their honor.
Three years later, Fayetteville native Edward Durrell Stone, one of America's premier architects and a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed an annex adjoining the south end of the hotel. Stone created an art deco, international-style building, generally recognized by architects as one of the classic examples of design in Arkansas from that era.
The third and final section of the Sam Peck was built in 1960. This 49-room addition was designed in the fashion of motor inns of that era. This separate building was not connected to the original hotel.
In 1984, the original five-story hotel got a modern facelift when the contemporary facade of brick was removed to show the original exterior. That year the property proudly reopened as the Legacy Hotel.
During the period from 1987 to 1996, the hotel had a number of different owners, and was eventually closed in 1996.
In 2003, the new owners, the Amarshis, did major renovations, adding modern amenities while still preserving the historic part of the hotel. Along with updating the hotel, they enclosed the exterior corridor of the 1949 motor inn portion and connected it to the original hotel.
The Legacy Hotel has been a second home to several well-known people, including former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, whose few-day reservations turned into a two-year stay in the penthouse suite (Room 601). Other big names that have visited the Legacy Hotel include President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sam Walton, Richard Dreyfuss, Harry Reasoner, Woody Harrelson, Al Gore, Muhammed Ali, Jim McDougall, and many politicians and news reporters.
In 2003, before the hotel reopened, Lieutenant Governor Rockefeller, Winthrop's son, did a reenactment of his father checking into the hotel using the original suitcase his father did 50 years earlier.
Have a pleasant stay at the Legacy Hotel and enjoy the modern amenities in a historic setting. The black marble staircase going from the first floor to the fifth floor is one of the many original features from 1913!