Today, much of Hot Springs's history is preserved by various government entities.Hot Springs National Park is maintained by the National Park Service, including Bathhouse Row, which preserves the eight historic bathhouse buildings and gardens along Central Avenue.During the Reconstruction Era, several conflicting land claims reached the U. Congress and resulted in an April 24, 1876, Supreme Court ruling that the land title of Hot Springs belonged to the federal government. To deal with the situation, Congress formed the Hot Springs Commission to lay out streets in the town of Hot Springs, deal with land claims, define property lines, condemn buildings illegally on the permanent reservation (now the national park) and define a process for claimants to purchase land.The commission surveyed and set aside 264.93 acres (1.0721 km) awarded to claimants.In 1673, Father Marquette and Jolliet explored the area and claimed it for France.The 1763 Treaty of Paris ceded the land to Spain; however, in 1800 control was returned to France until the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. George Hunter and William Dunbar made an expedition to the springs, finding a lone log cabin and a few rudimentary shelters used by people visiting the springs for their healing properties.
In September 1863, Union forces occupied Little Rock.
As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 35,193.
The center of Hot Springs is the oldest federal reserve in the United States, today preserved as Hot Springs National Park.
After Arkansas became its own territory in 1819, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be set aside as a federal reservation.
Twelve years later, in 1832, the Hot Springs Reservation was created by the United States Congress, granting federal protection of the thermal waters.
Due to the popularity of the thermal waters, Hot Springs benefited from rapid growth during a period when many cities saw a sharp decline in building; much like Miami's art deco districts.