• water flowing over rocks into basin

    Hot Springs

    National Park Arkansas

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  • 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.

  • Elevator closure

    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.

Superior Bathhouse Video

 
Superior Bathhouse from south end

Superior Bathhouse

NPS photo

Hello, I'm ranger Mark Blaeuer. We are at the Superior Bathhouse. The Superior opened in 1916, but it was named after an earlier Superior, from the 1880s, that stood on the same location. This building was designed by Harry Schwebke, who also designed the Lamar Bathhouse. He had offices in Arkansas and in Oklahoma. This building is sometimes referred to as eclectic in its architecture, as a clean commercial sort of style. I have heard people refer to it as "schoolhouse architecture," but it is one of the plainer bathhouses on the Row. It has pilasters in front with a patera over each pilaster, painted black. And this building was named after the superior service that they advertised themselves as giving. This building operated until 1983. We suspect there may have been another reason for the name, though, in that many people who came to Hot Springs did so by railroad after the 1880s, and came down from the upper Midwest. There was a Milwaukee Hotel, an Ohio Club, an Indiana Club, a Knickerbocker Hotel, all reflecting places farther north. So, a name like this might well have appealed to folks coming from Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Read more about the history of this building.

Did You Know?

Gulpha Creek in fall, below campground amphitheater, with bridge over Gorge Road in right background

The name Gulpha Creek is a corruption of the French name for the stream. Explorer William Dunbar reports the name "Fourche á Calfat" in the journal of his visit in 1804. Calfat eventually became Gulpha.