HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The city of Hot Springs is known as the boyhood home of former President Bill Clinton.
The house he grew up in, however, has never been open to the public. That is about to change after a local realtor bought the property with plans to restore it for the community.
The first thing that greets all who drive into Hot Springs is a sign advertising the “Boyhood Home of President Bill Clinton.” The signs in front of the house he grew up in are not as inviting.
“This is where it all started. I want to get all those no tours no pictures signs down,” Local Realtor Chris Rix said.
Rix is now the new owner of the Clinton house on 1011 Park Avenue.
“Here I am, able to get my hands on this property and stabilize it and put it back into service for the community,” Rix said.
That will be the first time it will be open to the public, but to get there it will take more than a fresh coat of paint.
“There was a lot of water damage on this side of the house. You can see a lot of the mold and such,” Rix said.
To most people this is a rundown house that’s almost beyond repair, but Rix looks beyond the broken windows and water-stained ceilings.
“I want to actually get some of the presidential memorabilia in here on display and even when he was a governor,” Rix said.
Instead, he imagines the stories told inside each room.
“I think that this area was their family room and where he may have practiced his saxophone,” Rix said.
It’s a big project that Rix believes will be all worth it when these doors finally open.
“We have one more stop on the map,” Rix said.
Rix doesn’t have a set date for the opening but hopes to have it complete in the fall.
It is one of two National Historic Sites dedicated to President Clinton’s childhood. His birthplace home is in Hope. It is now a museum. This year the site is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a
National Historic Site with events going on through August and ending with a special program on August 19th to celebrate President Clinton’s birthday.