Hall of Waters Museum
The Hall of Waters was a WPA project began in 1936 with a construction cost of $1 million as a distribution point for the mineral waters. Art Deco style architecture was chosen as in keeping with the Mayan Indian tradition relating to water and water gods. The Hall of Waters features the world’s longest water bar inside a two-story solarium, which functions as our Visitor Center.
At this time the Water Bar area of the Hall of Waters is closed to the public. All historic kiosks and information are still available in other areas of the building, sharing our unique mineral water heritage stories, famous people and events of the past. A small museum that provides detailed information on each water variety, spring and well is open to the public. One of two bath departments that still retains its vintage bathing equipment is open for free tours. Extended tours of the building can be arranged.
At the time of construction, the men’s and women’s bath departments each handled as many as 300 people at any one time. A competition-sized salt water swimming pool and a polio pool are located on lower levels, along with the bottling works. Pipe was specifically designed for each type of mineral water and a distribution system was developed in order to bring them all to the site.
The Hall of Waters was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The building provides an ideal environment to witness first-hand and learn about the historic and economic importance of the mineral water regarding the development of Excelsior Springs.
The Hall of Waters is a Save America’s Treasurer Grant recipient. Save America’s Treasures is a program that was established in 1998, and administered by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This program is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund and does not come from tax dollars but rather from revenue from Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenue.
The grant funds properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hall was placed on the National Registry in the early 80’s. The grant is providing funding to address repairs to the water bar in the Hall of Springs and foundation supports around the swimming pool directly beneath.
For more about the Hall of Waters, click here.