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Hall of Waters - Excelsior Springs, Mo.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 39° 20.506 W 094° 13.350
15S E 394651 N 4355416
Quick Description: This two-story cut stone and concrete building is located at 201 E. Broadway in Excelsior Springs, Mo.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 6/22/2017 11:11:49 AM
Waymark Code: WMW0KJ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member BK-Hunters
Views: 0

Long Description:
Hall of Waters (open 6:30a.m.-9p.m.), in Siloam Park, completed in 1938, is a modern three-story building of stone and concrete, with an 85-foot tower of structural glass. The recessed main entrance has monumental bronze doors bordered by bas-reliefs in a Mayan motif, and elaborate bronze grilles. The interior is ornamented by variegated tiles inlaid on composition walls. In the east wings are baths (open 8-5 daily), massage parlors, and hydrotherapy departments. On the lowest level of the building is a bottling plant, which ships waters from the springs to all parts of the United States. The Hall of Springs, a southern extension of the building, is a large glass-enclosed lounge where the mineral waters are sold from a glorified "soda fountain".

- Missouri, a guide to the "Show Me" state, 1941, pg. 515



The Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs, Missouri is the product of the Federal Public Works Administration. The structure is generally a "T" shaped building with strong Art Deco and Depression Modern features reflecting its architectural period. Interior and exterior decoration follow Mayan Indian tradition relating to water and Water Gods.

The majority of the structure is cast in place concrete with an exterior skin of ashlar stone, cast stone with carved limestone accents, and exposed concrete. There are a total of five levels with four above ground and a basement story completely underground.

For the purposes of this survey, the building has been divided into three main sections: the Main Building, the Great Hall and the East Wing, The five vertical levels of the structure are located below and identified as: Basement, Ground Floor, Ground Floor Mezzanine, First Floor and Second Floor (see plan).

The Hall of Waters is primarily a conventionally cast in place reinforced concrete column, beam and pan joist structure with a curtain wall skin of various materials setting on a reinforced concrete foundation and piers. The roof structure is also cast concrete over the majority of the building, although the Great Hall utilizes steel seams and haydite slabs. A built-up type membrane roofing over rigid insulation with gravel cover is used with the exception of the terrace surrounding the Great Hall where a concrete slab is placed over waterproofing membranes.

The exterior skin of the building is of three dominant materials used in skillful relationship to each other. A major portion of the building is faced with ashlar pattern limestone, approximately twelve inches thick. This covers the Main Building, lower level of the Great Hall and portions of the East Wing (south side), as well as the decorative stairways and retaining walls surrounding the complex. The two main entrances (west and north) and the upper story of the Great Hall are emphasized through the use of cast stone made from black granite aggregate, which closely resembles smooth cut limestone. Where appropriate, the cast stone panels are complemented by cut stone reflecting Mayan symbolism. The third material, exposed reinforced concrete, is found on the east wing and on a rooftop structure housing mechanical equipment. This exposed concrete is painted a light buff color compatible with the stone portions of the building. Other materials used as exterior decorative features include: glass block, cast aluminum, cast iron, painted steel, glazed tile and bronze.

Windows are painted steel and are either fixed divided lights or operable casements with either full or divided lights, or a combination of both. The type, size, and number of lights in individual window openings vary. The doors, depending on their location and use are made of one of three materials: painted steel, wood, or bronze.

The Hall of Waters main entry is on the north facade paralleling Broadway. The building welcomes visitors via an open terrace with ashlar stone walls and cast stone bannisters and caps. This terrace also extends around the building to the west entrance. Between the terrace and Broadway, a distance of approximately 115 Feet, is a sunken memorial courtyard. This courtyard is one floor level below the main entry (and Broadway) and is accessible by stairways from the building and ramps on either side at Broadway.

- National Register Application



In 1933, legislation was approved so that Excelsior Springs could petition the U.S. Government for a loan and grant through the Public Works Administration. The loan and grant was approved and certified by the supreme court of Missouri in 1935. Altogether, a million dollars was made available for the construction of the Hall of Waters, purchase of the mineral water rights, and piping of the waters to the bottling facilities within.

A ground-breaking took place in 1936 with a ceremony and the laying of the cornerstone. The structure was partially completed in 1937, when the "Hall of Springs", today known as the water bar, pictured above, opened and the mineral waters were dispensed to visitors and health-seekers.

The evidence of the Kessler-designed Siloam Spring Park was beginning to slowly disappear. The new building called for razing of the Siloam Pavilion, just south of Broadway at the entrance to Siloam Park. The Hall of Waters was built over the present Siloam and Sulpho-Saline springs, Siloam spring being located under the front steps. Art Deco style architecture on the interior and exterior was chosen as in keeping with the Mayan Indian tradition relating to water and water gods.

Besides the Hall of Springs, a great, two-story hall where all of the mineral waters were made available at fountains, the first floor contained the women's bath department, a sunroom, a covered porch, a grand foyer, offices for the management of the springs and for the chamber of commerce. The swimming pool, 30' x 75', met the A.A.U. regulations for championship events and was located on a lower floor, that opened to outdoor terraces. The balcony around the pool could seat 500 persons. Adjoining the pool in the south wing was a special hydrotherapy department, devoted to research into the uses of the waters and treatment of chronic cases of different ailments on prescriptions of licensed physicians. The bottling department was located on the east side of the north wing. Five varieties of mineral water were bottled in the Hall of Waters Processing and Bottling Plant and shipped, literally, all over the world.

The Hall of Waters was placed on the Clay County Historical Landmark Register in 1981 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 9, 1983.

- Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce

Book: Missouri

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 515

Year Originally Published: 1941

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