Hall of Waters

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The Hall of Waters is significant geologically, commercially and medically as the site of the first spring water discovered in 1880, the Siloam Spring. At that time, it was the only natural supply of ferro-manganese mineral water in the United States and one of only five known worldwide. A second ferro-manganese water, the Regent spring, was discovered in 1881. Altogether four distinct kinds of mineral water are located in downtown Excelsior Springs, with more varieties than anywhere else on earth.

Architecturally, the $1,000,000 Hall of Waters is significant as the most ambitious project to have been undertaken by the Federal Public Works Administration in Missouri. At its height, the Hall of Waters was the most completely outfitted health resort in the state and possibly the region. Moreover, the building is notable and possibly unique in its outstanding Art Deco and Depression Modern styling relating to water and water gods.

The development of the City of Excelsior Springs is inextricably linked to the ebb and flow of the springs themselves. The height of popularity for the spring waters was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the popularity of the Hall of Waters and other local spas and clinics began to decline as tourists ventured other places. In 1967, the mineral water bottling facility in the Hall of Waters was operating at a loss, but continued operations regardless. 1971 was a pivotal year for mineral water bottling. The Missouri State Health agency ruled that the community must cease and desist all bottling operations due to health safety concerns over the bottling process. Bottling and capping of the waters was done by hand at that time, which was a violation of state law.

In response, new mechanized bottling equipment was purchased and the operation was moved to a new facility on Isley Boulevard across the Fishing River directly south of the Hall of Waters. The facility was in operation for a brief time. In the 1980’s, an increase in mineral water demand prompted continuation of mineral water bottling and spa baths. The community has continuously promoted the waters. The Hall of Waters water bar and bath department remained in operation under private contract until the early 1990’s, when needed building and water system infrastructure repairs forced the closing.

Currently, the Hall of Waters houses the Visitor Center, Hall Museum, city offices and municipal court.