Return of the Quapaw Bathhouse
A Brief History of the Quapaw Bathhouse
The Quapaw sits on the site of two previous bathhouses, the Horseshoe and Magnesia. This bathhouse was erected in 1922 and named after an American Indian tribe that once held land in the area. The Quapaw was built in a Spanish Colonial Revival style with a large tile covered dome that is one of the most recognizable features of historic Bathhouse Row.
The bathing industry in Hot Springs declined after World War II largely due to modern medicine. The Quapaw closed its doors in 1968. It would reopen a year later as Health Services, Inc., but close again in 1984.
In 2004, the National Park Service began a new phase of rehabilitation of the six unoccupied bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. For the Quapaw this included a new roof, skylights, and HVAC system. The cupola was removed from the top of the dome for repairs while a new compression ring was installed. This compression ring was attached to a steel and concrete ladder system which provides support for the dome. In the basement, large catch basins were built to collect and divert the spring water that would often seep onto the basement floor. While many of the structural problems had been fixed, more work would be needed to make this building ready to lease.
Quapaw Baths, LLC
“The reopening of the Quapaw Bathhouse marks the renaissance for Bathhouse Row and will enhance our visitor’s experience at the national park!”
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.