• U.S.

Medicine: Heart Spa

4 minute read
TIME

Saratoga Springs, N. Y. last week got a foretaste of its racing, gambling and socializing season which runs through August. But it was health, not diversion, which brought rich Financier Bernard Mannes Baruch, rich Philanthropist George Foster Peabody, rich Governor Herbert Henry Lehman, rich Manufacturer Pierrepont Burt Noyes (Oneida silverware) and friends to Saratoga Springs. They went to watch Financier Baruch swing into place the cornerstone of a sumptuous new building which will make Saratoga Springs the ”greatest spa in the world.” The resort already has two vast bath houses, the Washington and the Lincoln, with luxurious private rooms (bed, easy chair, tub, lavabo, toilet, curtains, rugs). The structure now going up is a 160×70 ft. Hall of Springs with a limestone portico, red brick walls, black slab roof. Reconstruction Finance Corp. loaned $3,200,000 to construct the Hall of Springs and half a dozen more buildings. The interior of the Hall of Springs is to have a sybaritic air—comfortable lounges along the walls, in the centre great crystal globes through which the medicinal waters of Saratoga Springs will surge. Taps on the crystal globes will permit loungers to draw off & drink plain carbonated water, or bubbly, mildly laxative water, or bubbly, vigorously purging water. An orchestra will provide “a high type of music.” Treatment of heart conditions is the main reason for the sumptuous establishments at Saratoga Springs. “The system of therapy developed at Saratoga Springs,” exclaimed Governor Lehman at the cornerstone laying last week, “is in a very real sense miraculous. … As scientific research proceeds, as technique is still further improved, as physicians qualify themselves still more highly in this therapy. Saratoga must come to a glory she has never known in the past and that may well prove to be without comparison at any other place in the world.” Then to Financier Baruch, who swung the cornerstone into place without comment. Governor Lehman declaimed: “Here is the worthy son of a worthy father and one who by his enthusiasm and vision gave an impetus to this development beyond that of any other man in the state.” And to Philanthropist Peabody, the Governor said: “One man is always associated in my mind with Saratoga Springs. That man has given to Saratoga Springs the best that is in him. I refer to George Foster Peabody.” Building up Saratoga Springs as a health resort has been 80-year-old Mr. Peabody’s chief activity since his retirement from banking 27 years ago. He and his partner Spencer Trask bought estates up there. Trask became first chairman of a commission to conserve the Saratoga waters and prevent the undue pumping of carbonic acid gas from the springs. He was killed in 1909 in a train wreck while rushing his first report to Charles Evans Hughes, then New York’s Governor. Partner Peabody at once assumed the work, got the late Dr. Simon Baruch (father) to investigate European spas, especially Germany’s Bad-Nauheim whose carbonated waters closely resemble Saratoga’s. He formed a private corporation. Saratoga Waters Corp., leased at nominal fee the right to bottle the waters. Two years ago the State purchased the Peabody lease for more than $350,000, sells 100,000 gal. a year of bottled Saratoga waters in New York City alone. Twelve years ago Philanthropist Peabody married Mrs. Trask. At her death the next year he gave his Saratoga home to the State as a Katrina Peabody memorial. He incorporated the Trask estate, “Yaddo,” as a philanthropic institution. There at no cost may come writers, musicians, sculptors and painters for six-month periods. Executive director of “Yaddo” is Mrs. John Carroll Ames. Mrs. Marjorie Peabody Waite (adopted daughter), Allena G. Pardee (secretary) and Mr. Peabody also live there. “Yaddo’s” 490 acres, assessed at $175,000, pay no taxes.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com