Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

Beginning in the late 1800s, bathhouses were constructed in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to take advantage of the natural hot springs and their healing properties. Some of those bathhouses survive today along what is known as Bathhouse Row. We got to see them during our February 2024 visit to Hot Springs.

The bathhouses are pictured here from north to south, as we walked from The Arlington Hotel.

Superior Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

Superior Bathhouse was built in 1916 and is the smallest of the bathhouses. Its red brick facade and green window trim make it eye-catching, even on a rainy day1.

Hale Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

There have been several bathhouses with the name Hale. This version of the Hale Bathhouse was built in 1892 and then extensively remodeled in 1914. Another remodel in 1939 gave it the Mission Revival style that it has today, with the original brick being covered in stucco. The building is now used as a hotel, the Hotel Hale.

Maurice Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

The Maurice Bathhouse, which opened in 1912, was the only bathhouse to have a pool, which was in the basement. It also had a roof garden, so I have read2.

Fordyce Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

The Fordyce Bathhouse has an intricate canopy and interesting designs in its upper floor brick. The Fordyce opened in 1915 and is the largest of the bathhouses. It is now Hot Springs National Park’s visitor center and museum. More about it later on in a future post.

Quapaw Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

The Quapaw Bathhouse has an intricately-tiled dome, and was named for the Native Americans who lived in the area. Originally opened in 1922, the Quapaw is now open as a spa.

Ozark Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

The Ozark Bathhouse also opened in 1922, just a short time after the Quapaw, and was designed with a Spanish Colonial Revival style. It was said to cater to middle class patrons who did not want to pay the higher prices of the other bathhouses with more frills. The Ozark is currently the Hot Springs National Park Cultural Center, although we did not stop inside to see the artwork on display during this trip.

Buckstaff Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

The Buckstaff Bathhouse has bright blue window canopies with white stripes3, although those canopies do not appear to be on the original building. Built in 1912, the Buckstaff is still in operation today, still offering the traditional bathing experience that the bathhouses were known for.

Lamar Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park

And lastly, we have the Lamar Bathhouse, which opened in 1923, and was named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a former Supreme Court Justice and Secretary of the Interior. Today, the Lamar houses the National Park Store, where we found a few souvenirs, as well as offices and the park archives.

It was fun to see these historic buildings with their different architectural styles as reminders of the old days of the history of Hot Springs.

Those Before Us

As most of these bathhouses are no longer in operation, at least in their original form, they similarly make me think of people who have gone before us and the impact they have had.

In a recent Bible class at church, we talked about Hebrews 11, and several people mentioned their own heroes of faith, those people whose faith has had an impact on us or has set an example for us. In the same way, we can think about those who have loved us and whose love has inspired us or set an example for us.

The best way that we learn to love others is by seeing how others have loved us. And the best way we can show others how to love is by showing them love. Love can spread like a wildfire, but it takes someone making the first move to get the spark started.

If you want the world to be a more loving place, make a start by showing love to others.

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. - 1 John 3:23

Love One Another

About the Photos

For part of our day in Hot Springs, it was gray and overcast. And for the rest of the day, it was raining. That did not stop us from having a good time. But the rain did make for some dreary-looking photos. I decided to make them a little more appealing by converting to black and white, going along with the black and white photos from San Antonio recently. No regrets. Well, maybe a few regrets. But overall, black and white works better here.

And as I usually do with black and white photos, I gave these a sepia tint to look like photos from the old days. Just a personal preference.

Photos: Each photo is A single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: February 3, 2024
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas

  1. Sorry that the colors got lost during the black and white photo conversions. ↩︎

  2. Much of the information about the buildings for this post came from the National Park Service website↩︎

  3. Once again, the color is lost in these black and white photos. Read the “About the Photos” section for the reasons why. ↩︎


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.