Waters Hotel Renovation Project

APA Arkansas Chapter


Thursday, March 9, 2017
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. CST

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This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of renovating a vacant, historic building, into a boutique hotel. Of particular interest are the public and private partnerships required to make the renovation a reality. There was cooperation between the City of Hot Springs, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, Entergy, Centerpoint Energy, etc. in order to complete the project. The logistics were difficult, especially utility tie in an installation, which was nearly impossible.


Located in beautiful Hot Springs, Arkansas, The Waters Hotel is set within the Thompson Building in the Downtown Historic District, directly across from the famous Bathhouse Row. One of the most elaborately designed buildings on Central Avenue, the Thompson building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the work of George R. Mann, architect of the Arkansas State Capitol Building, and Eugene Stern, his partner. Built in 1913 in the Classical Revival style, it is one of the most outstanding architectural feats in the area. At five stories, the Thompson building is ornately crafted with a white glazed terra cotta façade and fluted Corinthian columns.


During its long history, the Thompson Building housed medical and business offices, and in the late 1940’s, the building was used as a hotel. There is a preserved hotel receipt from 1948 which, probably coincides with the highest peak of spa tourism in Hot Springs. In the last decades of the 20th century, only the first floor was occupied, mostly as storefronts.


The building was vacant and in a state of disrepair for many years, before it was purchased by today’s owners. For the last several years, it was meticulously renovated, with the focus to preserve the original historic elements of the initial structure. It turned into a modern 62 room boutique hotel with a restaurant, lounge and commercial space on the ground floor, terraced garden in the rear of the building and future rooftop bar deck.


With its unique design, the Waters hotel stands as a beacon for the revival of the downtown Hot Springs.


C. Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is a professional architect at Taylor/Kempkes Architects in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He received a bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Arkansas. Over the past thirty years, Anthony Taylor’s architectural work has included historic preservation, civic and municipal projects, educational and religious facilities, visitor centers ... Read More

Contact Info

James Walden, jpwalden@garverusa.com