For information on casino rentals click here. It was the site of the former Congress Spring Bottling Plant and the former Congress Hall, a large resort hotel, which together brought Saratoga Springs international fame as a health spa and gambling site. Those bans were gradually relaxed to attract more resort business, and by were effectively repealed. The east wing, used for gambling when the casino was constructed, is a two-story, three-by-five- bay structure with front windows one and a half stories high. February 27, .
On the north side of the park, just inside the entrance off the intersection of Spring and Putnam streets, is a carousel which has roots extending back to Coney Island where it was carved in by Marcus Charles Illions , a Russian-born woodcarver.
Congress Spring was named in when it was visited by a group that included two members of the newly established U. This led to two enlargements of the hotel. He died in while yet another was underway. The new town competed with nearby Ballston Spa and other spa towns in Pennsylvania and Virginia for visitors. It was at an early disadvantage since one of the first temperance societies in the country had been established in Saratoga Springs, and not only alcohol but gambling and dancing were at first forbidden in the town.
Those bans were gradually relaxed to attract more resort business, and by were effectively repealed. John Clarke , who had run the first soda fountain in New York City, moved up to Saratoga a few years after that and bought the spring property. He began to bottle and sell Saratoga water, promoting the iodine he had discovered in the water as a curative. This success allowed him to improve the site and create the crescent-shaped lawn, as well as drain some of the swampy areas.
By the middle of the century the city and the hotel were one of the country's most popular resorts, due to railroad access. It lost some business during the Civil War when some of its Southern guests could not visit, but during that time former heavyweight boxing champion John Morrissey opened the Saratoga Race Course , giving the city another major tourist attraction.
After the war, in , he opened the first part of the Casino. He was well-connected, acquainted with tycoons of the era like Jay Gould , William R. Travers and Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt , who were among his partners in the hotel and racetrack. They gave both a reputation for wealthy and fashionable guests that it continued to enjoy long afterwards. After his death in , ownership passed to Albert Spencer and Charles Reed.
In , he added a sumptuous dining room to the back of the Clubhouse fitting it with stained glass windows and an early form of air conditioning. He ordered marble statuary for the Italian gardens in the northeast corner of Congress Park.
In Saratoga Springs, he kept the Clubhouse going until The clientele during this period included not only members of wealthy families like the Whitneys , Vanderbilts and J.
This socially distinctive era, regarded as the city's golden age, ended in when reformers succeeded in banning gambling in the city. Canfield retired and sold the hotel and grounds to the city four years later, in The Pure Food and Drug Act hurt sales of bottled Saratoga Water, and the year after buying from Canfield, the city bought the Congress Hall hotel and bottling plant and demolished them.
In , the present park was created. Henry Bacon and Charles Leavitt were hired to do further work on its landscape. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Canfield Casino and Congress Park.
Front south elevation and west profile, Saratoga Springs , NY. February 27, . In he added a sumptuous dining room to the back of the Clubhouse fitting it with stained glass windows and an early form of air conditioning. He ordered marble statuary for the Italian gardens in the northeast corner of Congress Park. However, anti-gambling sentiments increased in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Canfield was forced to close his New York City casino, paying a stiff fine. In Saratoga Springs, he kept the Clubhouse going until He sold the building to the village for less than he had paid for it in The City of Saratoga Springs owns and operates the Casino. The diningroom and ballrooms are available to rent for private functions. For information on casino rentals click here. Donate Become a Member.