RFP for Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses
Requests for Proposals for the Maurice and Libbey Bathhouses are being accepted from 7/7/14 to 1/30/15. Click on the "Management" link in the left column for more information.
Hot Springs National Park regrets to announce that the elevator in the Fordyce Visitor Center is closed for maintenance. The upper and lower levels are accessible only by stairways. The elevator will be placed back into service in about 4 to 6 weeks.
William G. Maurice
National Park Service image from HOSP archives
St. Louis native William Gilbert Maurice (1859-1927) first came to Hot Springs in 1870, but didn't establish a permanent home here until 1890. He and his father became partners in the Independent Bathhouse in 1892, eventually remodeling it and renaming it the Maurice Bathhouse. That building was torn down and replaced with the existing Maurice structure, which opened in 1912.
William Maurice and Samuel Fordyce competed with each other to offer the public the most modern and opulent bathing facility. When the new Maurice house opened it offered a solarium on the third floor, several gymnasiums, and staterooms where guests could rest after their baths. Fordyce delayed the construction of his new bathhouse until the Maurice opened, so he could alter his designs to better his competitor. After the Fordyce opened in 1915, Maurice immediately closed his bathhouse for an upgrade, which included a new sun porch along the front of the building, four large skylights, and hand-painted wall canvases. The third-floor solarium became the cozy Roycroft Den, with stained glass ceiling and colorful wall murals.
Did You Know?
Hot Springs National Park Ranger James Cary was the first National Park Service ranger to be killed in the line of duty. He was shot by bootleggers while patrolling West Mountain on March 12, 1927.