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Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Hall of Waters

This art deco masterpiece was once a miracle spring mecca but is now simply a government office building. 

Built in 1937 with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) the Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs, Missouri was meant to aggregate the areas many natural springs (and their supposed healing powers) into one acclaimed health resort, however in the decades since its construction the building has mainly gone empty save for some government offices.

Since the 1800’s settlers and prospectors in the area now known as Excelsior Springs have been unearthing natural springs to which they have attributed curative powers. From anxiety to Polio, each of the springs that was discovered seemed to have its own healing use. As the area began gaining notoriety as a health resort the idea to bring a number of these water sources under one roof was approved and the Hall of Waters was born. 

Designed in a striking art deco fashion, the spa contained the longest water bar in the world where visitors could come and sample the out put of ten of Excelsior Springs’ natural fonts which had been redirected to the building. On tap were such aqua varietals as “calcium water,” “saline water,” and “iron manganese water.” In addition to the high-ceilinged bar area, there was also a championship size swimming pool built as well as a “Polio Pool,” and men and women’s spa areas. 

This aquatic oddity operated all the way up until 2006 when operations finally shut down. Luckily the beautiful and historic building itself is still intact and cared for, and many of the empty rooms and offices were given over to governmental agencies. If possible, the town of Excelsior Springs would like to reopen the Hall of Waters bar, but until then visitors must simply be content to wander the mostly empty building and take in the strange grandeur of the past.