Hi, I'm ranger Mark Blaeuer, and we are at the Grand Promenade, the south end of it. The Grand Promenade is now a National Recreation Trail. It runs on the east side of Bathhouse Row, behind Bathhouse Row, between Reserve Street and Fountain Street. It is between a quarter of a mile and a half-mile in distance, and it's a brick walkway. It is sort of a complement to the Magnolia Promenade, as we call it, the sidewalk that runs in front of Bathhouse Row. The Grand Promenade had its origins in some inspiration by an architect named Charles Peterson, who talked about the Prado, a pedestrian walkway in Havana, Cuba. So that was his inspiration, and they graded for the path. There was a roadway to the Tower and also a supply road back here, but they graded all that to an even level in the 1930s. They put bricks from the south end, here, up to almost halfway, around the early 1940s, and for awhile the rest of it, going over toward Fountain Street, was just basically a gravel walkway. However, they did end up finishing the Grand Promenade in the late 1950s. They completely changed the south entrance here, which had been a straight up-and-down staircase, with this almost spiral pattern, and then adding the staircase here. They also moved the Noble Fountain from its place closer to Central Avenue, toward a location just at the end of the Grand Promenade. The Grand Promenade features landscaped scenery. It has fountains, so that you can "quaff the elixir," as they used to say of drinking the hot spring water, along the way. Exercise was part of the cure, but of course this was a social resort as well as a medical one. So you would certainly want to promenade in your finery, here at this great social resort, this great American spa. And if you wanted just to sit down and relax, this was a good place to do it. They even provided tables and seating, so that you could play checkers or chess along the way.
Last updated: April 10, 2015