Hot Springs, Arkansas is known for natural hot springs that are plumbed through the hotels and bathhouses positioned around bathhouse row. This might be a little bit underappreciated today, but during Hot Springs heyday, hot running water in a building may have seemed miraculous. My grandma who was born in 1926 once told me that the most life changing technology of her lifetime was hot running water. We take it for granted now.
Hot Springs seems like a time capsule. Bathhouse row came to prominence in the nineteen-teens. As far as I can tell, some buildings did some updates in 1960, and no one has touched anything since. It’s a cross between two distinct times.
I was eager to try the public bathing experience offered at Buckstaff Bath House. (I’ve gotten braver after my Turkish bath.) Buckstaff offers the same experience you would have received in 1912, except the attendants don’t dress as nurses. I was game. Matt was not. (After his Turkish bath, I think he’s had enough strangers bathing him and public nudity for a […]