Superior Bathhouse

Then & Now
Historic photo of the first Superior bathhoouse built in the early 1900's. Modern image of the Superior Bathhouse, the trees have grown and exterior of the building has changed.
The first Superior Bathhouse, early 1900's. NPS Photo/HOSP Archives
Superior Bathhouse, 2020. NPS Photo/Jori Welchans



 
Two story, red brick Superior Bathhouse. Building has large windows on the first floor that are shaded by green and white awnings.
Superior Bathhouse today

NPS photo/Mitch Smith

Architecture & Design

The present Superior opened on February 1, 1916. It was built by L. C. Young and Robert Proctor in “an eclectic commercial style of classical revival origin,” contained 11,000 square feet, and cost $68,000 to build. The architect was Harry Schwebke. Brick pilasters lend architectural interest to both the forward projecting sun porch and to the second story portion of the main building. The vaguely Doric pilaster capitals are inset with a center medallion of green tile, as are the paterae over the pilasters. Both the sun porch and the second story portion of this bathhouse are topped with brick parapets.

 
Black and white image of a two-story red brick building.
First Superior Bathhouse

Kenna Collection, Hot Springs National Park Archives

History

The first Superior was constructed on portions of the old Hale and Big Iron bathhouse sites. It was made of red brick, some of which may have been reused in the current building. The style of construction was markedly different from that of the Victorian bathhouses that were its contemporaries. The business’s name was said to derive from offering superior service, but it may also have been meant to appeal to the many health seekers arriving from the upper Midwest. The smallest bathhouse on the Row, the Superior also had the lowest rates; it offered only the basic hydrotherapy, mercury, and massage services. It closed in November of 1983.

 
Color image of the interior of the Superior Bathhouse Brewery showing beer dispensers and a neon lighted sign saying Superior.
The tap room at the Superior Bathhouse Brewery.

NPS Photo

Today

The Superior Bathhouse is now home to the only brewery in a United States National Park, and the only brewery in the world to utilize thermal spring water to make their beer. Be sure to visit their website to learn more about the Superior Bathhouse Brewery.

 
An active scene in front of the Fordyce Bathhouse; people sitting ,walking, and looking joyous.

Bathhouse Row

Bathhouse Row is home to the Park's historic bathhouses. Learn about what is available in each of the bathhouses today.

Thermal water cascades down a mossy hillside into two concrete collection pools.

Hot Springs Geology

The story of the Park's thermal springs begins with rocks that formed over 400 million years ago...

Walking down bathhouse row, 2 historical figures are seen blended into a modern day photo.

History & Culture

Learn more about Hot Spring National Park's unique cultural and natural history.

A view from West Mountain overlook looking across rolling hills with fall colored leaves.

Nature

Learn about the natural resources at Hot Springs National Park. This includes information about our thermal water, wildlife, and plants.

A view of the Superior Bathhouse, looking south.

Eating & Sleeping

Explore dining and accommodations in the Park.

Last updated: October 2, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs , AR 71901

Phone:

(501) 620-6715

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