7.07.2010

Hot Springs Bath Houses & Twenty Seven Names Inspiration

I think this Hot Springs post is going to be a monster just like the one about Bonnaroo. I wish I could make it a little bit shorter and more concise, but I have a couple problems when it comes to that.

1) I take too many pictures.
2) I like to tell all about the places I visit rather than just giving a quick summary.
3) I like to document things really well so I'll remember all the details later.

I figured since most of my knowledge about the bath houses came from the historic signs posted all around the site that I'd just let them do most of the talking with a little commentary thrown in here and there!

Hot Springs was a very prominent town for the gangsters and stars of that time, and the bath houses were one of the popular spots where they spent their leisure. Located directly behind the bath houses (I think there were nine or ten in all) is a nice spot of land known as The Grand Promenade full of park benches and trails that lead up the slopes of the Hot Springs Mountains. The patrons were encouraged to exercise outdoors during their spa experience.

As a kid, I always loved visiting The Grand Promenade because I got to touch the natural hot springs that flow out of the mountains. The springs are scattered all around, and it's hard to capture them in photos. I did my best in the bottom right photo above, and yes, the water is HOT!

Although there are quite a few bath houses, there's only a couple that are open to the public now. One is a bath house turned art exhibit that was featuring some of Ansel Adams works when we stopped by. Even though I love Ansel Adams, I was on a bath house mission that particular day and opted to pass up the artists' exhibit.

One of the bath houses is restored to it's original 1920's look and is in working order for indoor swimming and massages. When we walked in to check it out, it was indeed tempting to take a swim (especially in that heat), but we stayed true to our original mission and went to visit my favorite of the bath houses instead, Fordyce Baths.

There were so many different rooms to photograph (all protected by a layer of glass and a big red line that warned of an alarm) and unfortunately I didn't get to document them all, but I think I got enough to give you an idea though. Keep in mind, there was a men's side and a women's side.





The last photo was taken on the bottom floor of the building. The pipe on the left was part of the old elevator (the really cool ones that had doors on both sides!), and the photo on the left shows a natural spring that flowed in under the building. The lighting was too poor to actually capture the spring, but it's located just below the bottom edge of the photo.

Other than the bath houses, the town is really great too. Lots of old paintings on the street walls downtown and historic hotels to stay in while your there. It's also got lots of great antique and vintage shops to visit too! As if all that wasn't good enough, the town is also build around some of the states best lakes.

I'm pretty certain I would thrive there, and if I can talk Jake into moving back to his hometown after I graduate I may actually get my chance.

Oh yeah, I got Jake to take outfit pictures for me too! I was really inspired by the Twenty Seven Names collection, and (if you check out the collection) I bet you'll be able to pick out exactly which look I took this from.

P.S. That water is hot too!

Jake wore his patriotic colors in the form of a Netherlands jersey all weekend. I think he's pretty proud that his team has made it to the finals.


Vintage Dress: Thrifted $5
Boots: Thrifted $1.50
Purse: Shop Dixi £40

36 comments:

CAITLIN said...

what a lovely old town! i've always wished i lived in the twenties, and i most certainly would have embraced the "culture of leisure." the concept of a gilded age bathhouse strikes me as the epitome of luxury... it would be divine to soak in a hot spring for a few hours before heading to a gatsby-style garden party to jitterbug the night away... :)

Caroline Grace: said...

Ah, this looks magical.

Maria Confer said...

I love your Twenty Seven Names outfit. I wish we lived closer and could wear ours together.

That place is amazing. How bad do I want to work out and bathe there!

Lulu Letty

Ashlee said...

amazing...

i wish the bath house near my apartment was still standing.

oh, and that sounds like my kind of town for sure. i'm not much of a big city girl.

Alicia said...

This is REALLY cool; thanks for documenting it in such wonderful detail (that beauty parlor! awesome!). I wish bath houses were still in vogue today.

DearBeatrice said...

Long indeed, but very interesting!! Since I can't travel at the moment reading this totally took me there! You look very cute and oh boy do I want that bag!! ^.^

April said...

I love your long posts! ;) I can't believe I haven't visited Hot Springs yet. I really need to. Me and my friends have been looking for somewhere to go on a little weekend road trip during school and Hot Springs seems perfect!

Fabiola "Fab" said...

what a great place to visit! love all the interesting things and texture! love your outfit!

Carys said...

I totally love posts with a lot of writing, which actually tell you something valuable and interesting, and this has such great accompanying pictures too! I totally wish I lived in the 'bathing era', and the idea of swimming with gangsters is slightly awesome (in a weird way!). I love your outfit too, so simplistically perfect and chic, I love your shoes with the cute little socks, and your hair looks so pretty when it's curly!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Diya said...

what a beautiful outfit... don't worry about taking too many pics bc I've enjoyed them all. ps. lovely dress!

http://diyainherstilettos.blogspot.com/

Robin said...

LOVE the bag. I actually cast a sad glance at my favorite bag and felt a twinge of guilt at how badly I wanted yours.

Ah well. Thanks for the history lesson! Too cool!

carriebradshawmademedoit.blogspot.com

Miss Woody said...

gorgeous post ! as usual

Arielle said...

I love this post! I looked through the photographs a couple of times just to make sure I didn't miss any details. I'm glad you like to take too many pictures and give thorough details about the places you visited and the experience you had ;)

amanda said...

i am so in love with your dress! and who am i kidding, the bag too! i've always wanted to head on down to hot springs but haven't gotten around to it. your pics make me think to put it a bit higher on my list. it would make a great weekend trip.

amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine - The Girl In The Paper Dress said...

I actually saw a television special on bath houses. They are so old fashioned and beautiful. I can see a gangster and his girl rining up in their Gillopie for a nice break from the criminal world. How glamorous!

The Girl In the Paper Dress

sarah said...

Your dress is so lovely - what an incredibly lucky thrift find! Hot Springs looks really interesting! I went to see an amazing old bath house in Budapest once (also located on some ancient hot springs), and the most amazing part about it (besides the gorgeous architecture and tiling) was that it was actually still in use! Unfortunately because of that I could only see the public areas, but it really was like stepping 90 years back in time!

Gracie said...

Great interesting shots and you look great!

The Daily Fashionista said...

What a fun read! I love historical things like that so it interesting to read about bath houses.

nancy : The Sway Report said...

I love the pictures! I was just at the Hotel Del Coronado last night reading about 20's history. :) Ahh, my boyfriend is a huge Spain fan!!

This final is going to be awesome!

xx
nancy


swayreport.blogspot.com
new post : Paloma Vintage, coming soon

moonshinejunkyard said...

oh my goodness these are gorgeous! in my opinion it wasn't long ENOUGH! i have the exact same three problems as you, and end up using my own blog to remind myself of what's happened in my life lately...so i have to document thoroughly! anyway i'm so glad fordyce is your favorite and you took so many photos there. when darin and i were there in 2007 they were doing tons of remodeling and we got lots of vintage brochures and postcards and things like that for free! it was amazing. also, we were drinking the spring water out of our gallon jugs for days and it felt good. we met the loveliest couple at a rad little coffeeshop and bakery there who gifted us a few fresh loaves of delicious bread for our journey. we had come in on the west side of town and it was so strangely different (kinda sketch) than the more touristy town. i got that vibe in lots of mid-southern towns, like in oklahoma too. i kind of dig that....mysterious and unpredictable. thanks for sharing your rad weekend - it was such a joy to pretend to BE there!

Jen said...

i adore your simple white and tan outfit! and this place is so amazing! i love the overall vintage feel to it. the prices are also so cheap compared to places similar today. :)

Shelby said...

first, can you please give me that dress! it is sooo perfect. i especially love the pops of orange leather!

second, i am a sucker for historical sites and really loved this post. i wish i had something like this close to me so i could visit it!

Eunice said...

such lovely pictures! and i love your white vintage dress paired with those cute socks, just adorable!


heyfancypants.blogspot.com

Mel said...

Wow, what a great post Starr! I love all the old history just bursting from these pictures! Somehow these bath houses remind me of the Cliff House in SF. Thanks for sharing, this is amazing! I love your bag too!

B said...

Congratulations to Jake! I'm rooting for the Netherlands myself. :)

This place looks so interesting, Starr! I love the old gym/work out place best. i can just imagine the history that went down there. I read everything and did not mind at all that it was long. I like that you use the blog as a sort of memoir for yourself.

I wore a twenty-seven names inspired outfit a few posts ago myself. Except I was more inspired by the dotted dress. It is definitely my favorite collection, right now.

B from A plus B

Turquoise and Lily said...

nice blog..

xoxo from indonesia

have a nice day..

Kaylin Smite said...

I LOVE Hot Springs :)
I live in Arkansas (I really hope you are talking about this one, haha) and I just adore the town... so historic and beautiful!
I love your bag as well, teehee.
:)

Rebecca said...

This was a really interesting post. I'm glad you were so thorough, it means we get to feel like we visited it too. I love the restored rooms and the gymnasium. Also your simple outfit fits in rather well with the place, can't believe what a bargain those boots were!

fashionforwriters.com said...

You look gorgeous in that white dress!!! And I know exactly which dress you are channeling. White dresses are my favorite thing for summer (and spring and fall and winter!!) and you know I don't mind long posts because I'm guilty of them myself. Your trip sounds like so much fun. I've always wanted to visit a hot springs, complete with gangsta cred.

xo Jenny

Mamushka Marie said...

LOVE you in white! that place looks so magical...and the baths! you take such fun field trips!

Justice Pirate said...

What a happy smile! I love this. It looked so educational and fun. I really love learning! Great dress!!

sweetdisposition said...

lovely outfit and lovely location! i'm really envious of your killer vintage scouring skills and you pull off the ankle socks so well! i've been trying to figure out an outfit that i could try them out with.

ps. big fan of your blog :)

A Beautiful Mess said...

Beautiful pictures...of my town! I love living here, I can see why you felt the need to take bunches of pics. Great job documenting it for people who haven't seen the town yet. Cute dress, too!

FASHION ICE said...

cute outfit and i like all the bags in your next post! come follow me http://www.fashioniceice.blogspot.com xoxo

thetravelingpeach said...

thanks for this post. i read it in tennessee and later that day found myself driving thru hot springs on my cross country trip and i was inspired to check things out for myself. i was there on one of the rainy days but my bf and i still took a dip in one of the beautiful lakes...