Favorite Places and Spaces

Welcoming, cozy, safe, a nest in the treetops, a comfort, sense of community, my sanctuary: these are just a few examples of words used by Butterfield residents to describe their favorite places and spaces in the Village. A campus spread out over 44 acres and home to 400 residents offers a variety of public spots to gather, as well as countless private living areas. As much as there is to explore and utilize, different places strongly resonate with different people. 

For this first of a series about residents’ self-proclaimed favorite locations, four places stood out as particularly representative of life at BTV.


The BTV Commons Fireplace

(Left to Right) Joe Campbell, Bernie Daniels, Dr. Jim Hunt, Roy Penney, Seth Young, Curtis Shipley, Buzz Baker, Rick Meyer, Everett “Skipper” Solomon, Bill Currie

In the heart of the Commons building is a space designed to serve as an inviting, yet grand communal living room, complete with a natural stone fireplace and lots of available seating. Every day but Sunday during the cooler months, a group of gentlemen pulls chairs into a semi-circle in front of the fireplace to discuss anything and everything. Curtis Shipley, whom the group has humorously anointed as its honorary “treasurer because his family owns Shipley Baking Company and he obviously made a lot of dough,” describes this space as his favorite on campus. 

The men’s group, which has no official name, has been meeting for roughly thirty years with ever-evolving participants. Their appreciation and affection for each other is obvious. Good-naturedly talking over each other, the group laughingly shared, “There’s never a lack of topics. In one morning, we might talk about military history, indoor plumbing versus the types of outhouses, and even a ten-year-old cat. The diversity of knowledge and experience of this group is really incredible. Someone among us is likely to be an expert on practically any subject.”

“Chairman of the Board” Rick Meyer explained there are three important rules of engagement, “No politics, no religion and no discussing Butterfield problems. That’s why we’ve gotten along with each other for all of these years.” 

One of Butterfield’s newest residents, Buzz Baker, just graduated from “companion member” status as a BTV Carriage Club member to full-fledged membership of the group upon moving into his apartment in April 2022. New to the area as well as to Butterfield, Buzz found an immediate connection and camaraderie among the others. “They have taught me so much about Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas history and places – and made me feel right at home.”


The Brewer Bench

Bill and Bimmy Currie

Bill and Bimmy Currie have lived at Butterfield since the summer of 2021, and they both thoroughly enjoy sitting in a sunny spot on a very special bench near the busy front entrance of the BTV Commons building. The bench came to be a fixture on campus when resident Martha Brewer’s children – Rice Brewer, Payne Brewer and Marti Sharkey – decided to work with her to donate the bench and concrete installation pad as a tribute to their late father Hugh Brewer and grandmother Martha Rice, Butterfield’s very first resident. 

Bimmy shared this, “Our favorite place is the Brewer Bench.  We have been friends with Martha and Hugh Brewer for a long time.  In fact, our daughter Jodi would watch Marti when the Brewers went out for the evening.  Bill uses a walker, which makes it possible for us to reach the bench from our north apartment building.  We like to have Charlee the Dog with us to enjoy watching the squirrels and birds, and there is always some kind of action close by.  Friendly residents stop by for a visit, and the transportation drivers are usually leaving or returning from trips to take people around town.”


Rebecca Harrison’s Apartment Window

Rebecca Harrison

The BTV campus is filled with mature trees, and those who live in second- and third-story apartments often describe it as like living in a treehouse. The foliage provides coverage for an array of wildlife, as well as a shady place to enjoy the outdoors.

Rebecca Harrison moved to Butterfield in 2021 and treasures her warm, inviting apartment nestled in the oaks. “My favorite space is sitting by the sliding glass doors to my second-floor balcony and looking out on the beautiful trees. I love watching for birds, waiting for the geese that fly through in the early morning while I enjoy the start of day.  There are early morning dogs being walked, and my cat peeks out between the porch rods to look down on them. My books are in order, my art work adorns the walls and my entire pale-yellow apartment is a comfort.”


The Butterfield Dining Room

(Left to Right) Pat Jahoda, Dorothy Mitchelson, Peggy Walsh, Helen McElree

Many would say campus social life frequently evolves around breaking bread together, so it’s no surprise the Butterfield dining room is a much-enjoyed gathering place. Resident Dorothy Mitchelson absolutely loves a standing date she has with dear friends Helen McElree, Peggy Walsh and Pat Jahoda every Tuesday evening. The four women cannot say enough about what a wonderful person each of the others is and how they all treasure their time together.

“I was first invited by Helen to join her and two other ladies as part of a weekly dining occasion. We have good conversations on practically any subject,” said Dorothy. “I have been at Butterfield for over four years now – I am so thankful every day to live here with the most interesting people and the best community.”