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Berkeley Springs State Park

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Various dates. At the center of Berkeley Springs in the square bordered by Fairfax, South Washington, and Liberty sts. and Warm Spring Ridge
  • Berkeley Springs State Park

This small park in the center of Berkeley Springs encompasses the area held in trust for the benefit of the public since 1776. The Ladies Shower, a one-story brick structure with five individual entrances on its east facade and a triple-arched blind arcade on its south side, is covered with a hipped roof supported by a sprightly cornice with scalloped ornamentation. One of the oldest buildings remaining at the baths, it may or may not be one of those that James Rumsey erected in 1786–1787. The Roman Bathhouse is also thought to be Rumsey's work, although it has been modified. A plain two-story structure capped with a hipped roof, it houses ten individual baths, entered via a long hall on the west side of the building. The Gentlemen's Drinking Spring, immediately southwest of the Roman Bathhouse, is the most unusual structure on the grounds. An open first story with ten piers surrounds a spring, while the solid second story, reached by an exterior stairway, has arched fenestration. Like the Ladies Shower and the Roman Bathhouse, the Gentlemen's Drinking Spring is covered with a hipped roof. Nearby, the Washington Bath and Fairfax Spring are lined with rock. All of the buildings in the complex are painted a creamy yellow with green trim. While individual components may be of more historical than architectural interest, their arrangement and surroundings—shady lawns with pathways, benches, and an octagonal bandstand—recall European spas and form a pleasant oasis in the center of the town.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Berkeley Springs State Park", [Berkeley Springs, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-MR1.

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