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.
Fordyce Bathhouse Video
Hi, I'm ranger Mark Blaeuer. The Fordyce Bathhouse stands on the site of the old Palace Bathhouse, both built by entrepreneur Sam Fordyce. He was born in Ohio, went to the Civil War, was a banker in north Alabama, in Huntsville, and he was told by his doctor there to come here to take the baths. So he did that in the 1870s, and it led to him building these buildings here. The Fordyce opened in 1915 and closed in 1962. It's now the visitor center for the national park, and it was designed by George Mann and Eugene John Stern of Arkansas. They designed quite a number of buildings in this area. The style is Renaissance Revival, with some Spanish elements and some Italian elements. On the window surrounds you will see, on the second floor level, a head of Neptune. These are terra cotta. On the surrounds on first floor, you will see the urns and the dolphins. They're both indicative of the watery nature of the bathing industry. The marquee is made of copper. It does have the Fordyce name there, and that's lit up at night. Entrepreneur Sam Fordyce, who was born in Ohio, lived in Alabama, and came to Arkansas in the 1870s, also had a house in St. Louis, where he ran the St. Louis and Southwestern Railway, also called the Cotton Belt Line. This building cost about $220,000 to construct. And it was considered to be one of, if not the, most elegant bathhouses on the Row. It contains a music room, a large gymnasium, and quite a number of other services and rooms that others bathhouses lacked.
Read more about the history of the building.
Did You Know?
Hot Springs, Arkansas, was the premier baseball spring training site from the 1880s-1940s. The Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox and others came to soothe their aching muscles at the many bathhouses using Hot Springs National Park water.