Today we held tours through both the Excelsior Springs Museum and the Hall of Waters downtown. On the August ballot there will be an opportunity for the public to vote for a property tax that will be dedicated to improving our historic museums in town. Both today and next Saturday at 6:00pm the public is invited to take a tour through the space, ask questions, and see firsthand the priorities that will be set with the money generated from the tax.
City Manager Molly McGovern and City Councilwoman Sonya Morgan look over the study of the space from 2014. In the plans, there is space planned for a lobby, circulation, leasable space, staff only space, mechanical, public space, and storage.
Hall of Waters Building Manager TR Kennedy walked us through the old woman’s spa that has been turned into a museum. Here he is demonstrating how the light boxes were once used.
This is probably the space most folks have a heart for and memories of. I brought a couple down to see it and the man told me he remembered taking water babies here. I was able to tell him that I did, too!
This is the boiler room. The boilers are literally from the 50’s and could go out at any time. The first priority for the Hall will be to fix the ventilation problems, including the HVAC from mold and other harmful airborne contaminants.
In the sub-basement there used to be a water tank attached to the base. They ended up torching the tank off the base to find a huge buildup of sediment from the mineral water underneath. It’s so heavy that it will probably never be removed.
In the tunnel that runs alongside the bottom sides of the swimming pool, you can see the corrosion around the columns. The iron underneath is reacting to the contaminants in the air causing the damage. A new ventilation system can help to stop it.
In the elevator. This is a relatively new floor, meant to match the other Mayan styled decor that exists throughout the building. It was paid for by ghost tour proceeds.
Under the front lawn is the well room where the original Siloam well is housed. You can see above the five pipes that were used to bring the Springs into the Hall.
On the wall, you can see the workers initials with the year 1937 (when it was built) etched into the cement. I wonder who they were.
Ceiling damage in the well room, underneath the front lawn.
The original well spring Siloam. You can see the red iron in the water coming out of the floor. The springs are healthy!
In the Solarium we have our Visitor’s Center, where the public can walk around the water-bar and learn some of our history.
I can’t imagine our community without the Hall of Waters. It’s the heart of the downtown and was built in celebration of our unique waters whose varieties can’t be found together anywhere else on earth. It would be such a disappointment to see it go. I hope everyone votes Yes on August 7th to restore it.
Visit www.museumtax.com for more information and details on this project.