Army and Navy YMCA

Also known as: Armed Services YMCA
50 Washington Sq., Newport, Rhode Island


Army & Navy Young Mens' Christian Association (YMCA)

1. Exterior view from southeast, Old Colony House at right.

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


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. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS RI-391)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 29, 1988
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Beaux Arts
Areas of significance
Military; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year

Update Log 

  • January 16, 2018: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett