The Hall of Waters was built as a Federal Public Works Administration project and the project was for building the Hall, purchase of the mineral water rights, and piping the waters to bottling facilities within. Architecturally, the $1,000,000 Hall of Waters is significant as the most ambitious project to have been undertaken by the PWA in Missouri. The interior and exterior decoration incorporates Art Deco and Depression Modern styling with motifs of Mayan Indian tradition relating to water and Water Gods.
At the time of construction, there was both a men’s and women’s bath department, each handled as many as 300 people at any one time. There is a competition-size swimming pool that was filled with salt water and a polio-pool located on lower levels, along with the bottling works. Pipes were designed especially for each type of mineral water and a system to bring them all to the site was developed.
At its height, the Hall of Waters was the most completely outfitted health resort in the state and possibly the region. Waters of the ten main springs were piped into the longest mineral water bar in the world, which is still open to the public today. Known as the Hall of Springs, the solarium was the first section of the Hall to be opened in 1937. Five varieties of mineral water were bottled here and shipped all over the world.
By the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the popularity of the Hall of Waters and other spas and clinics began to decline. The bottling operation was moved from the Hall to a new plant south across Fishing River and operated for a short time.
Today, the Hall houses the City offices, court and council chambers, a Visitor’s Center and office for the Downtown Excelsior Partnership. The community has continuously promoted the waters for bottling and spa baths to private investors, however, these operations are closed at this time.
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 waters regarding the development of Excelsior Springs.