Bathhouse Row & Grand Promenade, Central Avenue, between Reserve & Fountain Streets, Hot Springs, Garland County, AR
Significance: Bathhouse Row comprises one of the few remaining examples of the picturesque health spas of the early twentieth century. The present bathhouses...are the second, and in some cases, third or fourth generation of bathing facilities in this location. The first bathhouse was believed to have been built about 1830. Prior to that time the indigenous Indian cultures had long made use of the springs. The present Bathhouse Row buildings date from about 1911 to 1935, with some later remodelings. Some are in a classic revival or Edwardian Style which began with the World's Fair of 1893 in Chicago. Most are in a style which California and Hollywood made popular in the early days of this century, called Spanish Revival. This style is characterized by exterior stucco, natural finish wood, and tile roofs. The eight bathhouses include the Superior, Hale, Maurice, Fordyce, Quapaw (Health Services, Inc.), Ozark, Buckstaff, and Lamar. The National Park Service Visitor Center is the latest building constructed along Bathhouse Row, and the only structure not facing Central Avenue. Built in 1938, it is in a style harmonious with the architecture of the bathhouses. The bathing industry prospered throughout the first half of this century because the waters were considered to be the cure for various ailments. Hot Springs and Bathhouse Row became a regional center for many sorts of therapy as well as an entertainment center. The buildings saw their peak of operations in 1946..." Following World War II, "(m)odern drugs began to supplant the importance of the therapeutic waters, however, and the bathing industry began a steady decline. ..." National Park status has been important to the preservation of Hot Springs Bathhouse Row.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N1982
Survey number: HABS AR-28
Building/structure dates: ca. 1911- ca. 1935 Initial Construction
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 74000275