Eureka Springs History


Basin Park Hotel under construction
Basin Park Hotel under construction in 1904
Q:    Where is the Basin Park Hotel?
A:   It's on the north side of Basin Circle Park, on Spring Street, in the downtown building district. It was built on the site of the Perry House, a four story hotel built in 1881. Captain Joseph Perry built the hotel after moving to Eureka Springs because of poor health. He had several hotels, in different locations in the United States, prior to his arrival here. The Perry House, which was lost in the fire of 1890, was considered a fine hotel.

Q:    When was the Basin Park Hotel built?
A:   It was started in 1904 and completed in 1905, opening May 5th. A Grand Opening was held on July 1, 1905.

Q:    Who built the Basin Park Hotel?
A:   William M. Duncan and his associates built it. They owned The Syndicate Company that owned and operated many businesses in town. The building, including furnishing, cost over $50,000.

Q:    What was the hotel constructed of?
A:   Like the Crescent Hotel and many other buildings in town, the limestone quarry near the town of Beaver provided the rock exterior of the hotel. There are several horizontal rows of red dolomite around this building. Although very evident when built, it is quite easy to miss seeing the red dolomite now.

Q:    How modern was the Basin Park Hotel?
A:   It had 100 rooms, a cage elevator, electric lights, steam heat, and telephones in the rooms. It also had complete fire protection. On the top floor was a ball room with a hardwood floor that was often referred to as "The Roof Garden." In later years the Barefoot Ball was an annual event there and dances with live bands became a regular event at the Basin Park Hotel.

Basin Spring circa 1909
1909 Lucien Gray postcard of Basin Spring in Basin Circle Park.
Q:    What other interesting things are there about Basin Park Hotel?
A:   Well, the area from the lobby to the park which is now a gift shop was a very good restaurant for many years called the Basin Park Coffee Shop. The restaurant was moved back upstairs onto the second floor in the old "Ozark Room" (renamed Perry Room) when the hotel was sold and remodeled in the mid-1980's.

It became a tour hotel and did quite well with bus tours through a succession of owners and managers. The first year it opened as "A Slice of Pie" and shortly went to buffets for in-house tours only. The restaurant was called "The Coach and Four" for four years, then it became "Ripley's." The hotel was sold again in 1992 and the restaurant was named "The Balcony."

Kindly provided by Susan Schaefer. All Rights Reserved. Information presented here is used with the permission of the author.