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Title: Baths
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Bessette, Ted
Publisher: Ted Bessette
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Winter, 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
Subjects / Keywords: Architecture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
General Note: Course number: AE685
General Note: UF AFA Historic Preservation document 17
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Full Text

AE 685






article by Mary Nell Reeves

article by Russ Taylor





Throughout history baths have had many different

meanings and purposes. Three major purposes, discernible

at an early stage of history, remain today. These are

general well-being, ceremonial purification, and

The earliest bathe known to man are the public

baths of Miohenjo-Daro, in the Indus Valley, and the

palace baths at Knossos, on Crete.
2 Mohenjo-Daro is estimated to be about 5,000

years old. Its public bath was about 24 by 40 feet

(7.3 by 12.2 meters). Built bcy a highly civiliead

people it included an elaborate drainage system with
horizontal drains of brick, and terra cotta pipes

fitted with spigot and faucet joints protected within
the walls.

3 The Minoan palace at Knossos included a sophis-

ticated drainage plan with Bathrooms, foot baths,
and tubs, betleived to date from between 2000 and 1800

B.C. The slide shows a modern looking bathtub (dating

from between 2000 and 1800 B.C.) found in the queens

re Giedion, in Mechanization Takes Command, traces

the itinerary of the Regeneration Type Baths:

44t4. Itineralry of the Regieneration Types. In this map we
havle tentatlively traced thle path of the different types of regenera-
lion. From Central Asia the archetype aopor or hot-air bath -
spread in ancient times to Russia, Syria, thle Greek world. This
type wcas p~rroalyh~ frst elaborated technically in the Nile Della
durring the Ptolemair Perriodi. In the first cei~tury B.c. the Romanr
Thermrae, a crossing ofl archetype with the Greek gymnasiuml,
spread w~ith the expanding Empire. It waas in ~Syria, in the third
celturrv A.D., that the Roman Thermae -marching east-mel
the archetype and were transformed into what later became the
Islamic bath, a type that persisted until the influx of mneekaimia-
tion. (Rf. Ecochard and 4~ Gedion)

5 The Winter Sun Bath of the Forum Thermae, Ostia,

is an example of the Roman Thermae of the 1st to 5th

century. The broad openings were filled with glass

panes, behind which the sun bath was taken as part

of the elaborate Roman bath procedure.

6 The Steam Room, attHa~mma of Kalaour, Cairo, is

an example of an Islamic bath of the 18th century

A.D. The Islamic bather prefers quiescence, seclusion,

and the dim light that is here obtained by meansr of

honeycomb vaults. The Islamic bath also included
7 other spaces such as a Rest Hall where the Islamic

regeneration begins and ends and a Hot-Air Room
where massages are administered on a polygonal divan
in the center of the room.

Other examples of early baths include:

8 The Bath of Dura Europos; the Bath of Brad; the Bath

9 of Kusair' Amra; the Bath El Harjib, the Bath House

10,11 at Caervuent, a Russian Bath of 1812, a Late Gothic
12 Steamn Bath of th Fifteenth Century; a Moorish Bath

13 of 1858; and "ghe Hellenistic Gymnasium at Priene.
Bathing was part of a restorative process tor

the ancient G~reeks and was also closely tied to the

gymnasium, the educatibonal center of the Hellenes.
In the 5jth century B.C., publiio baths were constructed

in Athens. They rapidly became popular and were an

important pasting place for Athenian society. Early
Greek public baths contained cold water pools and

showers for use after athletic events but later warm

baths were introduced although they were still taken
after a cold bath.

Rome had baths from the end of the 4th century

B.C., but only cold water was used. As the Empire

grew, public taste demanded more and more luxury,

By the 4th century A.D. there were nearly a thousand

baths of various sizes at Rome anrd many others were

14 found in the provinces. The Stabian baths at Pompeii

15 are one of the oldest Roman baths extant. They were
17 origionaly built in the 2nd century B.C. The Forum

18 Baths at Pompeii are also very extensive and another
20 fine example of the importance the culture placed on
22 the baths.

23 The Romtans constructed a great public bath in

the 1st century A.D. around the Aquee Sulis, the

24 mineral springs in Britian, from which the present

city of Bath took its name. Today, hot water from

the mineral springs still runs through a Roman conduit

about 2,000 years old.

The steps involved in the Roman bathing procedure

have been determined, although the order in which

these steps were taken is atn~olear. It is thought that
the bather first exerciarbd and then disrobed. Anointed

with oil, he passed through the topidarium (warm room),

the caldarium (hot room), andi the laconicum (steam

room), the most intense of the sweating stages.

Sweat and oil were pressed from the body with a strigil,

a grooved metal scraper that had been introduced by
the Greeks. The bather may then have entered the

frigidarium (cold bath). Finally, the bather anointed
himself with oil again, and the bathing process was


The social model for the baths was derived from

Greek practice, but Roman love of luxury in the days

of the empire required the inclusion of gardens, a

satdium, shops, and exedrae, (open courtyards for

poetry readings or lectures). In time, however, the
exedrae lost their select character as the baths

became a pleasure available to many. The initial

pur pose of bathing to develop a sound mind in a

healthy body was subordinated as the baths became

more and more great social centers.
The baths of Caracalla and Diocletian were of

colossal dimensions, and their extensive ruins are
26 among the most famous. The Baths of Caracalla covered
28 an area of nearly 28 acres and had a capacity of 1,600
30 bathers. Sculpture found in these baths indicate the
richness of the furnishings. Operas are now performed
34 in the well-preserved remains of Caracalla. The Bathe

35 of Diocletian are thought to have been .twice the size

of Caracalla, accommodating some 3,200 bathers, with

36 a swimming bath about 290 feet (88.4 meters) long and

a theatre. The tepedarium of these baths was reconst-

37 ructed by Michelangelo to form the church of Santa
Maria degli AngelL. The Romans developed a system of

38 buttressing, cross-vaulting on interior columnus,, and

galleried windows, to provide roofs, ventilation, and

light for enormous rooms. These architectural feats

inspired later builders. The old Pennsylvania Railroad
Station in New York, torn down in the 1960's, was
modeled after the Baths of Caracalla.

From the many references to baths and bathing

in the works of such Roman historians as Seneca and

Pliny the Younger, it is known that men and woman

bathed separately, at different times or in different

establishments. The practice of mixed bathing developed

later and was condemned by the Roman emperors Hadriatn

and Marcus Aurelius, and in the Eastern Roman empire

by Justinian I, the lawgiver. This probably lost them

a lot of votes in the next election.

And then there were the problem groups. The

early Christian church did not evolve any crode regarding

cleanliness. In this, Christianity was almost unique

among the great religions of the world. Baths were

used by Christians in the days of the Roman empire,

but with certain limitations: Christians were forbidden

to bathe with Jews and, in some cases, with the excom-

municated. The Great Roman baths, however, encouraged

practices repugnant to Christian thought. Perfumes

and cosmetics, regularly sold in the Roman baths, were

regarded as symbols of moral decay. Early Christians

who had suffered persecution condemned the extravagence

of the thermae. Like the Semites, Christians abhorred

the nudity common to the Graeco-Roman tradition.

To some extant the problem for the Christians

was solved by barbarian invasion, which left Roman

aqueducts and the principal baths unusable, Meanwhile,

a cult of asceticism arose among Christians to coun-

teract the cult of well-being. Some Christians regarded

being dirty as a suitable means of mortifying the

flesh and a proper penance for sin. This attitude

persisted into the Middle Ages. In the 11th century
it was considered a creditable act of renunciation

that Adalbert;, archbishop of Hamburg and Bremen,

abstained from bathing. Asceticism was carried to

such extremes in certain areas that church leaders

were forced to rebuke those preachers who forbade

bathing altogether. A more moderate Christian visew

seems to have prevailed later in the Middle Ages.

Batchs again became important when clenlinessr

for the masses became necessary to prevent the

spread of disease in densky populated areas. Large-

scale efforts to deal with the problem of cleanliness

were made in Britian, Germany, and America from the

mid-19th century onward. A public baths and wash houses

act was passed in 1846 in England, and other measures

followed. The British became pioneers in plumbing.

The same industrial conditions that had produced slums

and disease proved capable of providing physical

remedies. Public and private groups began to build

public bathhouses for those without private facilities.
These bath houses were set up on Western models,

distinct from the classical and Turkish forms. They

weredesigned simply as places where people could gaFet

clean, and initially they consisted of individual

bathrooms with plumbing oonnfs2elat from a central

place. Shower baths and swimming pools were added

as athletic activities increased.

More elaborate establishments, built on the Roman

model, were constructed around mineral springs. Med-

icinal baths at mineral springs have exi~sted in

nearly all countries since Roman times.S,~ome of

the best known are at Baden- B~aden, Germany; Ca'rlsbad

(Karlory Vary), Chechboslovcakia; Vichy and Aix-les-B3ains,

France; Bath and Harrogate, England; and Spa, Belgium.

In addition,thhere are many medicinal baths in the

Far East, especially in Japan, where bathing, often

associated with massage, has always been popular.
.Baths in the United Stated fell into three

major types. These are baths to deal with the problem

of personal 01enlinzess in high density lower class
housing areas, medical baths based on a belief that

mineral springs are capable of providing physical

remedies, and recreational places, often as a part
ol a resort hotel.

Early European colonists took their attitudes
on bathing to America. The old laws of Pennsylvania,

Virginia, and Ohio give examples of legislative attem-

pts to restrict or forbid bathing. But with a rapidly

expanding population of imegrants pacted in high
density housing,(this was made very clear by Rose

in the report on tenements, see: Tenements AE 685

Winter 76 by Rose Petrucha), it was soon necessary

to create bath houses to prevent the spread of disease.

In the United States, notable medicinal baths

include those at Hot Springs, Ark.; Warm Springs, Ga.;

Saratoga Springs, New York; and White Sulphur Springs,

West Virginia. Although the library has texts on all

of these medicinal baths, Only White Sulphur Springs

has a book that is illustrated, and for that reason

it is here chosen as an example.

40 White Sulphur Springs is located in West Virginia.

Its Companies properties included an area of 7,000

acres with well-made and well-kept walks winding in

41 every direction. Everything about the place stressed

health. There was a staff of doctors and nurses reported

to be of the highest calliber. Being a mineral water

health resort it was a school of hygiene, mental and

42 physical, and its sphere of usefullness was as much

in the prltevention of disease as in its cure. They did

offer this warning: "However valuable mineral waters

may be as medicinal agents, they are not applicable
43 to all diseases, nor are the best results to be exp-

ected unless they be prescribed with a due regard to

the condition present in the individual case". While

waiting for their ailments to leave them the guests

84 stayed in the Greenbrier Hotel. It is a Georgian style

45 hotel and was said to be entirely fireproof. This

46 health resort is typical of medicinal bath resorts

47 in the United States. They stressed health and people

had faith in their ills being oured simply by soaking

in or drinking from the spring.

4C8 In the days of our westward expansion it was not

only the seekers of opportunity and adventure, but also

the health-seekers, that traveled westward. The doctors

were doing their part by advising patients to go west

for "climate cure". Wether in the first or the last

stages of illness and sometimes no matter what the

diagnosis, the patient would be told to take two asprins

49 and go west in the morning. To meet the demand a great

50 variety of health resorts sprung up in the west, many

51 of which included mineral baths as their major attr-

52 action. Along with the baths the traveler was offered

many unusual ways to cure his ills, including the

53 "Inhalatorium," used to breathe medicinal vapors.

55-63 A fine example of a local bathhouse, which

unfortunately is no longer with us, is the Bathhouse

at White Springs, Hamilton County, Florida. See




1 Introduction
A Tale of Soap and Water by Hallook

2 Mohenjo- Daro. Great Bath. View. 3rd M, B.C.
Slide Library # 32751

3 Knossos. Palace. Bathroom in east wing.
Slide Library # 48882

4 Map showing movement of bath types.
Mechanization Wakes Commaadd, S. Giedion, p.635.

5 Winter sun bath Forum Thermnae, Ostia.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Giedion, p.630.

6 Steam Room, Islamic Bath, Hamlmam of K~alaour, Cairo.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Giedion, p.631.

? Rest Hall/ Hot Air Room, Islamic Bath.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Gledion, p.640.

8 Eastern Regeneration type baths.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Giedion, p.639.

9 Bath House, Caerwent, Plan.
Clean and. Descent, L. Wright, p.20.

10 Russian Bath, 1812.
Mechanization Takes Command, S Giedion, p.649.

11 Late Gothic Steam~ Bath, Fifteenth Century.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Gledion, p.651.

12 Moorish Bath, 1858.
Mechanization Takes Command, S. Giedion, p.669.

13 Hellentatic Gymnaasium, Priene, Second Century B.C.
Mechhaniza~ton Takes Commnand, S. Giedion, p.638.

14 Pompeii. Stabian Baths,
Slide Library # 38030

15 Pompeii. Stabian Baths.
Slide Library # 52880

16 Pompe~ii. Stabian Baths.
Slide Library # 52881

17 Pomlpeii. Stabian Baths.
Slide Library # 52882

Plan. B.C. 1st Century.

The Palestra (interior),

Ceiling detail.

18 Pompeii. Forum Baths, Plan, B.C. 1st Century.
Slide Library # 38038

1~9 Pompeii. Forum Baths. Sections, reconstruction,
B.C. 1st Century.
Slide Library # 38053

20 Pompeii, Forum: Forum Baths towards Vesuvius.
Slide Library # 58412

21 Pompeii. Forum: Baths towards "terpidarium".
Slide Library # 58414

22 Pompeii. Forum: Baths towards "oalidarium".
Slide Library # 58413

23 Roman Baths, Bath, Englatnd. Plan.
Clean and Descesnt, L. Wright, p.19.

Roman Bath. Bath, A.D). 2nd Century
Slide Library # 37559

25 Baths of caracalla, central hall.
A Tale of Soap and Water, Hallock, p.36.

26 Rome. Baths of Caracalla. Plan, 212-223 A.D.
Slide Library # 43803

27 Baths of Caracalla, Romea.
Clean and Descent, L. Wright, p.15.

28 Rome. Baths of Caracalla. Elevation and sections.
(Pa~lladio drawing)
Slide Library # 34445

29 Rome. Baths of Caracalla. Reconstruction, air
view section. A.D. 212-223.
Slide Library # 38039

30 Rome. Baths of Caracalla.
Slide Library # 6100

31 Rome. Baths of Calracalla,
Slide Library #Y 11132

32 Rome. Baths of Caracalla,
Slide Library # 38305

33 Rome. Baths~ of Caracalla,
Slide Library # 38304

34 Rome. Baths of Caracalla.
"Aida" in the Baths.
Slide Library # 52852

212-223 A.D.

interior arch, 217 A.D.

"tepidarium", A.D. 212-223.

"tepidarium", A.D. 212-223.

1969 production of

35 Rome. Baths of Diooletian. Plan.
Slide Library # 21292

36 Rome. Baths of Diocletian. Restored section.
Slide Library # 2124C7

37 Thermae of Diocletian.
Mechanization Takes Commnand, S. Giedion, p.638.

38 Rome. Baths of Diocletian, Vaults, A.D. 302.
Slide Library # 20830

39 Thermae, 19th C, Germany, 1883.
Mechanlizatton Taes omand, S Giedi on, p .681 .

40 Map of White Sulphur Springs.
The White Sulphur springs, Maccorkle, p.89.

4-1 The Old White Sulphur Springs Building.
The White Sulphur Springs, Maccorkle, Frontispiece.

42 White Sulphur Springs, 185j7.
The White! Sulphur Springs, MacCorketl, P.49.

43 The Spring House.
The White Sulphur Springs, MacCorkle, p.69.

44s Greenbrier and the Bath Buildings.
The White Sulphur Springs, MaccorPBB, p.84.

45 The Spring House.
The White Sulphur Springs, MacCorkle, p.92.

46 One of the Portals of the Greenbrier.
The White Sulphur Springs, MacCorkle, p.34-6.

47 The Greenbrier.
The White Sulphur Springs, MacCorkle, p.347.

48 Drawing, "Go West, Young Man; Go Westl"
Health Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
Jones, p.83.

49 Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Health Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
Jones, p.180.

50 Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Health Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
Jones. p.181.

51 Las Vegas Hot Springs, New Mexico, 1882.
ealth Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
ones. p.182.

52 Antlers Hotel, colorado springs, 1883.
Health Seekers in the Southwest. 1817-1900.
Jones. p.183.

53 "Inhalatorium"
Health Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
Jones. p.179.

54 Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.
Health Seekers in the Southwest 1817-1900.
Jones. p.179.

55 Bath House, Hamilton county, Florida.
Gainesville Sun, April 11, 1973.

56 Toweer, Bath House, Hamilton county,Florida.
Gainesville Sun, April 11, 1973.

57 Bath House, Hamlilton county, Florida.
Gainetsville Sun, April 11, 1973.

59 Bath House, Hamilton county, Florida.
Gainesville Sun, April 11, 1973.

60-63 Set of HABS drawings of the Bath House,
Hsamilton County, Florida.


Gledion, S.; Mechanization Takes Command,
Oxford University Press, New York, 1948.

Hallook, Grace T.; A Tale of Soap and Water,
New York, 1928.

Jones, Billy M.; Health-Seekers in the Southwest, 1817-1900,
University of Oklahoma Press, 1967.

Keesling, James L.; "Survey of Sanitation." term paper,
AE 681, University of Florida, Nov. 22, 1974. (typed)

MacCorkle, William Alexander; The White Sulphur Springs,
'hatNg~aeLPrablishing Company, New York, 1916.

North, N.L.; Saratoga Waters,
New York,1840.

Welsh, Frederick A.; A History of Baths,

New York, 191C2.

Wright, Lawrence; Clean and Descent,
Viking Press, New York, 1960.




article by Mary Nell Reeves
April 11, 1973



article by Russ Taylor

Feb. 5, 1973

Text and Photos By Russ Taylor

i ;.I.


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White Sulfur Spring reads the faded black let-
tering atop the bath house of the old Colonial Inn,
. the third such structure to be built by man over a
limestone fissure from which flows many
thousandss of gallons of clear cool water every
Ii noinute.
Gone nowr is the hellish perfume of sulfur fumes
That once greeted travelers at the town's edge and
Sgrew stronger as they approached the source.
Gone too are most of the 14 hotels and boarding,
houses that once housed pilgrims from near and far
1as they sought to find relief in the curative waters,
10 Rany did. Just as had the Indians of various
southeastern tribes wsho held sacred the land .
Surrounding the spring in an eight mile circle. It
wi\nas a place to which the old infirm and war- ~
;, pounded of all tribes could come to rest and heal~i
k~~i~ithoult fear. For any hostile act on sacred soil i
wiiiuould surely bring the wrath of heaven down upon
iii the w~rongdoer.
Af ter the great w~hi te chieftain called Jackso qhad i
i~driven the red m~an into the far reaches of'the;
.~ Evergladles the white settlement that had sprung
.~: up, calling itself after the spring, began to prosper.:
.ii~ The comling of the railroad made it possible for,
.. thousands to come and seek their health or
pleasuree amniid the grea t live oaks and gently rolling
~Sterrain that gave the town its special charm.
And it wras the seekers of pleasure, the bringers
;: of vice and violence that some say angered the One
iii In1 Heaven and brought ruin to the tow~n in 1911,

S.. Rays of the setting sun glint off glass panes
of the carrilon tower as the sun sets on an era.


n I White Springs


IrL*'rrl. t d

r ln921

For sometime prior to that year, gambling,-
strong drink and their tempting attendants hall
taken root .in several of the towns hotels and
boarding houses.
The towns,downw'ard slide into the pit had not
gonle unnoticed by the local churchmen and one
1\let~hodist minister in particular who denounced
the philistines publicly from his pulpit and
ibeseeched G~od for help in prayer.
As the story has it, his prayers were answered ott~
February 11, 1.911, the day a fire broke out in the~iii
Baptist parsonage and was swept through the town
by high winds, destroying most of the hostellry, in-
deed the major part of the town. ::~
White Springs was neirer to fully recover from
That fire. At the railheads pushed southward down
the perimsula the tourist trade which built the~
8itown dwindled. s
~PNow twto of the last remaining relics of that~
i~~bygone era, the Colonial Inn Hotel and its famous i~ri
Spring house on the Suw~armee are about to depart ~
:: the present, the latter b fullyl' to be replaced by a 5:'
~similar if not identical structure.
B ut for those remember the leisurely Sunday~ii
afternoons at the spring, and the fine food and ~
fellowship offered by old hotel, i~t might best to find
stay clear of that part of town when the old cypress s
~timbers begin to fall.


An Era EndS

If Only it Could Talk

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