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

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


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


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.

Last updated: June 4, 2020

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Hot Springs , AR 71901


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