Superior Bathhouse Video
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?
On June 10, 1936, President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Hot Springs National Park and toured the Fordyce Bathhouse as part of the Arkansas centennial celebration. FDR used the baths at Warm Springs, Georgia, on a regular basis to relieve his polio. He never bathed in Hot Springs.