It's Fun to Stay at the Y.M.C.A!


When I think of running, track and field, and Olympic events my mind races back to those youthful days spent at the old YMCA on State Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts.


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The old YMCA was an amazingly archaic structure. It could spook us young boys even during the day time with many activities in sessions. There were many nooks and crannies and mysterious doorways that seemed to lead to nowhere. 


The building itself was considered an architectural marvel. It was designed by the famed architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. He was the same architect to design Trinity Church of Boston, said to be on the top ten list of architecturally significant buildings in the country.


Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox
The old YMCA has Richardsons' signature brownstone archways, cornices and turrets. A fire on a cold winter night in 1982 ended it's life. It burned to the ground leaving nothing but a shell. The "Y" sat vacant for many years. The shell was propped up with external steel supports. Finally it was removed and the land given to the city.


When the commuter rail line was extended to Newburyport the arches that were saved were given to be part of the new train station. The arches live on much like the spirit of the old Y.M.C.A.


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