Army & Navy Young Mens' Christian Association (YMCA), 50 Washington Street, Newport, Newport County, RI
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50 Washington Street, Newport, RI
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS RI-391
Significance: The Army and Navy Young Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) building, Newport (1911, Louis E. Jallade, architect) stands as an important local expression of the Beaux-Arts architectural style which embodies distinctive design elements of that style executed with fine craftsmanship. Further, the building is an excellent example of the type of institutional buildings constructed by the YMCA. The YMCA building derives historical significance through its associations with a major social reform movement in the twentieth century; with noted philanthropist Mrs. Thomas J. Emery, the building's benefactor; and with the impact of a military presence on Newport's history. From its opening in 1911 until 1973 the YMCA building performed a critical service for military enlisted men, particularly the Navy, in providing onshore residential, recreational and social facilities. The building's prominent location in Newport's civic center and the involvement of Newport's civilian society in YMCA volunteer activities helped foster and sustain an important link between the City of Newport and the armed services stationed there. By the 1960s declining financial support, increased mobility of the armed forces, and growing proportions of overseas assignments forced the closing of a number of Armed Services YMCAs. These factors, along with relocation of seven Navy fleet unit staffs and thirty-nine naval ships out of Newport, resulted in closing of the YMCA on December 31, 1973. The building remained vacant for a number of years. It was recently reopened, and sold in March 1988 to a consortium of private non-profit organizations who intend to continue its function of housing and sheltering the needy.
Young Men's Christian Associations
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. Exterior view from southeast, Old Colony House at right.
2. Exterior veiw from south.
3. Exterior view from east.
4. Exterior view from east southeast, main facade.
5. Exterior view from northeast, gym in foreground.
6. Exterior view from north.
7. View from east southeast, detail of entrance.
8. View from east southeast, detail of bas relief frieze on main facade.
9. Main entrance hall, view from southwest showing entrance to Reading and Writing Room.
10. Interior of Reading and Writing Room from south.
11. Reading and Writing Room, detail looking north at fireplace.
12. Interior of Social Room from northeast.
13. Entrance to former Game Room/Barbershop area, view from southwest.
14. Swimming pool, view from north.
15. Swimming pool shower area, view from northeast.
16. Interior of Gymnasium looking northwest.
17. Second floor corridor, view from northeast.
18. Residence Room Number 209, view from northwest.
19. Second Floor Lavatory, view from north.
20. South and east elevations, early 20th century postcard view (1) showing original cornice (ca. 1920, Newport Historical Society Graphics Collections).
21. South and east elevations, early 20th century postcard view (2) showing original cornice (ca. 1920, Newport Historical Society Graphics Collections).
22. North, east and south elevations (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
23. West elevations (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
24. First Floor plan (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
25. Second Floor plan (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
26. Third Floor plan (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
27. Fourth Floor plan (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
28. Fifth Floor plan (1988 Drawing, The Newport Collaborative, architects).
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