Army & Navy Young Mens' Christian Association (YMCA), 50 Washington Street, Newport, Newport County, RI
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.
Survey number: HABS RI-391
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 88003073