The Hale was constructed in 1892–93, replacing an earlier Hale bathhouse. The Hale was probably the first of the Hot Springs
19th-century bathhouses to offer modern conveniences to its bathers, and thus became more cosmopolitan in nature. The first Hale Bathhouse, built in 1841 by John C. Hale, was the first to provide more than just a bath as a service. Within twenty years there were at least three establishments in Hot Springs bearing Hale's name, although none of these appear to have been situated at the location of the present Hale.
The floors were laid with handsome French tiling and/or marble. The bathing department had tile floors, 26 tubs, marble partitions, and nickel-plated hardware. The tubs were rolled, rimmed, and porcelain lined. The 20-foot (6.1 m)-high ceilings provided excellent ventilation. The Hale had two needle and shower baths, one hot room, six cooling rooms, a gymnasium, and 14 dressing rooms on the men's side; the women's department contained 8 tubs, one vapor bath, one hot room, two cooling rooms, one needle bath, and six individual dressing rooms. The house included a subterranean excavation or cave in the tufa bluff directly to the rear of the building. This cave was used as a sweat room; it was known for some time as the "electric cave" until it was closed in 1911.