The Crescent Hotel is situated at the highest point in Eureka Springs and was built three years after the railroad brought tourists to the town. The last leg of their journey to the hotel was by horse-drawn carriage. The Eureka Springs Investment Company (ESIC) commissioned St. Louis architect Taylor to design the hotel, a five-story, 125-room building. The hotel’s mansard roof, large dormer windows, steeple-like spires, and tall chimneys contribute to its spiky silhouette at the crest of Crescent Mountain. Masons were brought from Ireland to supervise construction of the eighteen-inch-thick dry-set light gray limestone walls. The hotel’s grand interior includes a broad wooden staircase at the south end of the hotel giving onto a wide central hallway on each of the upper floors. When the hotel opened, all the rooms featured lavatories with hot and cold running water.
The town’s reputation as a health spa began to fade in the first decade of the twentieth century, and ESIC used the building for a girls’ boarding school, Crescent College and Conservatory, during the academic year and as a hotel in the summer months. By 1933 the college had closed, and the building, which had changed hands several times, was shuttered in 1940. It reopened under new owners in 1946 and, after several renovations and owners, has been restored to its original glory.