Congress Hall was a magnificent hotel built by H.G. Bang around 1860 to rival the successful Pavilion Hotel and sulphur baths. Although not adjoined, the hotel was part of his beautiful park, Magnesia Temple and bathhouses that surrounded John Gardner''s famous White Sulphur baths. A fire destroyed Congress Hall hotel in 1875 along with the White Sulphur bathhouses. Gardner built a more elegant, ninety-two room bathhouse and reopened in 1876.Gardner also built the Inhalation House in 1881, as part of his continuing development of the spa. The patient would "inhale" the sulphur vapors through a cup fitted over the face. This reputedly helped with lung and bronchial ailments. Doctors would prescribe a regimented treatment specific to the patient's ailment. This would determine the daily dosage of sulphur either in oral, topical or vaporized application. In the last four decades of the 1900's, the building was used only as a spa related doctor''s office, as inhalation treatments were no longer prescribed.John's son, Henry Gardner, opened the Imperial Baths on the site of the Congress Hall hotel in 1927 to attract a "modern" clientele. The Victorian era sulphur bathhouses were still in use just west of the new building but he hoped to lure more bathers. The Imperial offered Nauheim baths (carbonated sulphur water),
Scotch douches (sprayed sulphur water), mud packs, and massages. The heated water was piped into large lead tubs and after a twenty-minute soak, bathers were wrapped in warm sheets and required to rest on a cot in an adjoining room. This method of treatment changed little throughout the 20th century. In the 1960's, one wing of the 1876 bathhouse was demolished. By the last decades, no longer in use, the remaining wing was collapsing.