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Old Mar 2, 2009, 5:44 AM   #1
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Hot Springs' reason for existence has always been the geothermal springs that burst up from the ground, making it a favorite for people to come from hundreds of miles around to "take the waters." Even before the Civil War, entrepreneurs captured the hot waters and charged for bathing. The bathhouse movement hit its peak in the 1920's, when the opulent bathhouses that sit there today were constructed. The fashion died in the 60's and 70's, leading all of the bathhouses to shut down, but they were rescued by the National Parks Service, which has renovated several of them and is leasing them to private developers. Today, Bathhouse Row is a beautiful stroll on a sunny day.



By the way, the small fountain on the right is one of three springs that has been left uncapped. You can barely see the steam rising from it. Others were covered for purposes of preservation. The bathhouses back up against Hot Springs Mountain, which is criss-crossed by hiking trails and a "Grand Promenade," a one mile brick walkway with spectacular views of the city and its foliage. This is a set of stairs that allows access to the Grand Promenade from Bathhouse Row.



Shots taken with Pentax K20d and Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. Minimal post-processing.

Paul


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Old Mar 2, 2009, 5:57 AM   #2
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Very nice pictures and an interesting history lesson.
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Old Mar 2, 2009, 7:37 AM   #3
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Nice shots, I just saw a show I think on the travel channel about Hot Springs, very interesting show,I knew some things about Hot Springs but they really covered a lot, and how they want to restore more of the buildings they even went into some of the old buildings. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Mar 2, 2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Great pictures for the challenge. When I was last there -- in the 1980's -- Hot Springs was in much need of this type of restoration. Good to see that it's happening.
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Old Mar 2, 2009, 4:40 PM   #5
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dcg0317 wrote:
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Nice shots, I just saw a show I think on the travel channel about Hot Springs, very interesting show,I knew some things about Hot Springs but they really covered a lot, and how they want to restore more of the buildings they even went into some of the old buildings. Thanks for sharing.
One of the bathhouses has been renovated as the Visitors' Center for the National Parks Service. I will be posting some photos from inside it later in the week.

Paul
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Old Mar 2, 2009, 4:50 PM   #6
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Walter C wrote:
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Great pictures for the challenge. When I was last there -- in the 1980's -- Hot Springs was in much need of this type of restoration. Good to see that it's happening.
Walter, you would not recognize the downtown area if you last saw it in the 80's. It had become really sleazy. Many buildings were abandoned, including the bathhouses, and the businesses that were operating were far from desirable--cheap bars, strip clubs, etc.

Twenty years of work has produced a dividend. Today, the sleaze is gone, replaced by artist galleries and workshops. (But don't worry....the Wax Museum in the old Southern Club is going strong.) The "DUCKS" still make their runs, but the city seems to have finally accepted that the casinos won't be coming back and the downtown as reinvented itself, focusing on the city's heritage and beauty.

The Arlington was where my wife and I spent our honeymoon back in the 70's, never dreaming we would wind up living in the city. Today, it's a much more pleasant destination.

Thanks for looking,

Paul
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