Then & Now
Ozark Bathhouse, 1942. NPS Photo/HOSP Archives
Ozark Bathhouse, 2020. NPS Photo
Architecture & Design
Designed by architects Mann and Stern of Little Rock, the bathhouse was completed in the summer of 1922, just a few months after the Quapaw opened for business. The owners rejected three earlier Mann and Stern designs considered too grand and expensive. Built at a cost of $93,000 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the building is set between low towers whose receding windows suggest the nascent Art Deco movement. The prominence of the towers was lessened during the 1942 renovation that brought the building’s wings forward in line with the front porch, which was enclosed at the same time. The plaster-cast window boxes are unique on Bathhouse Row. The cartouches on both sides of the front are of the scroll and shield type with the center symbol described as The Tree of Health or The Tree of Life. Like the Quapaw, the Ozark was more impressive in its exterior facade than in its interior appointments, with only 14,000 square feet and twenty-seven tubs. It catered to a middle economic class of bathers unwilling to pay for frills. The Ozark closed in 1977. The painted wooden porch enclosure was removed in the late 1990s to return the building to its original appearance.
Today, the Ozark houses the Hot Springs National Park Cultural Center. The Center features gallery spaces for displaying artwork from the park's Artist-in-Residence Program and other temporary exhibitions. The building is operated by the park's non-profit supporting organization, the Friends of Hot Springs National Park. Volunteers from the Friends group open the building for special occasions and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. Admission is free.
Last updated: June 4, 2020