Open House Scheduled at The Inn at Piggott Market Loft

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Tracy Cole shows-off one of the bedrooms in the new Market Loft, located above The Piggott Market.
TD photo/Tim Blair

The recently-renovated Market Loft in downtown Piggott has a unique history. The new addition to The Inn at Piggott will also be open to the public, as an open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.

In the early 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a farm-relief bill called the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which replaced the Federal Farm Board. The act's goal was to increase agricultural prices by eliminating surplus to help farmers. It created a new agency called the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, to manage the aids distribution.

According to local historian and developer Joe Cole, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration moved its government office into what is now the Market Loft. The area below, now City Market, was used as a commercial business during that time.

In the late 1940s, Pat Green opened Green's Market. Next door to Green's Market, Charlie Bill Smith opened Smith's Shoe Store. In the late 1940s, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration moved out of the building. Smith moved his family into the Loft area until about 1954, when they relocated to Cherry Street.

Joe and Tracy Cole had been looking at the property before they returned to Piggott, as it had sentimental value.

Pat Greens son, Kent, and Joe were close friends. They were football teammates for the Mohawks while in high school and remained close while going to different colleges. Kent attended Baylor University, and then became successful in the real estate business. His lifelong dream was to return home to Piggott and take over his father's business, which would allow him to take care of his parents and sister. However, this dream was not to be fulfilled.

Kent had a medical condition in which he would have bad seizures. One night when Joe was visiting Kent in Dallas, Kent had a traumatic seizure. Because Kent was afraid of dying in his sleep, Joe stayed up with him all night. They talked about going home and about Kent's lifelong dream. The next day, Kent put Joe on a plane back home. Kent passed away the next night. Acquiring the property, Joe was able to address Kent's lifelong dream. In naming the City Market, Joe combined the names of his father's business, the City Meat Market, and Kent's father's business, Green's Market.

Joe and Tracy began renovating the property for the coffee shop downstairs first and, after finishing it in early September, began renovations on the Loft in February. The renovations were extensive. It was a shell, said Tracy when asked to describe its original condition. Three months later, the Market Loft was complete, just before the annual Piggott Heritage Car Show.

The Market Loft contains two bedrooms, a master and a guest, with adjoining bathrooms, as well as a beautifully furnished living room and a fully stocked kitchen. It can sleep up to six adults. Many items found around the Loft are recovered and restored, such as the counter in one of the bathrooms, the lights in the living area, and the sink in the master bath that was originally found on a curb in Memphis.

Each room features brick walls and treated wood floors, door frames and ceilings. The rooms, decorated by Tracy, present both modern and traditional furnishings. I wanted it to retain a lot of its character, but wanted it to have a contemporary flare, Tracy said. It won't look perfect; I don't want it to be, that's part of the character. The Market Loft is quiet, isolated from the busy streets, to give guests privacy. Guests also have easy access to the coffee shop downstairs.

This location was a staple in Piggott, and Joe and Tracy have made it so again. I'd personally like to see downtown Piggott restored, Tracy said. I love these old buildings, and I hate to see them in disrepair.

The Market Loft will be used for both short-term and long-term rentals, including business travels, family stays and events in Piggott. The Loft is already booked for the Piggott Heritage Car Show next year. It is rented by bedroom, but it is possible to rent the entire Loft. Those wanting to make a reservation or find out more information, may call The Inn at Piggott at 870-598-8888, email innkeeper@theinnatpiggott.com, or make a reservation on the website, www.theinnatpiggott.com. The Market Loft will be holding an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 10. The Loft is located at 147 South Third Avenue.

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