Friday Flashback #223

This month, Anthropologie is decorated for the holidays. Even — especially? — in these COVID times, the old Tudor building looks inviting and warm.

But for most of its life, the handsome structure at Westport’s major downtown intersection was the YMCA.

Built by E.T. Bedford in 1923 to replace the Westport Hotel, the new Y featured reading and writing rooms, pool tables and bowling alleys.

A year later — during what seems to be late fall or early spring — this is what the YMCA looked like.

(Photo courtesy of Seth Schachter)

There was plenty of parking. A small sign at the top of the photo warned trolley conductors to go slowly.

The Y did not occupy the entire building. The far eastern portion — the section closest to Church Lane — housed Westport’s downtown fire department. If you click on or hover over the image to enlarge it, you can see the bay doors.

Judging by this photo, fire trucks had no problem roaring through downtown traffic en route to calls.

7 responses to “Friday Flashback #223

  1. Amazing Elm trees. Root systems dealing with sidewalks, roads and buildings. Bedford was quite a guy! Westport was lucky.

  2. LOVED that old place. It was unique, it was nice to wander through the halls, go up and down the stairs, on my way to wherever. It had CHARACTER. AND a great boxing area, plenty of heavy bags and 2 well-maintained speed bags. I learned to right a tipped kayak in that pool!

    Nothing as fancy as the new place, sure, but that’s too far away for us now anyway. They want a different clientele, I guess.

  3. When we were at Staples 1958-61 the Y was a cross roads for the Downshifters, Hi Y and VSC and the Staples Swim team.

  4. how do you click on the image to enlarge it when it is not click-able?

  5. Those stairs up to the front entrance were a real challenge when I tried to take my 2 toddlers and their stroller to the Y. It was the first insight I had into what a handicapped person might face. I often wonder what people with mobility issues did before the ADA. I guess they just had to stay home.
    We’ve come a long way.

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