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Historical Photo Location Revealed

The old YMCA building was located at the corner of Ardmore Ave. and Lancaster Ave., now a vacant lot.

On Monday, we asked readers to taken somewhere in Ardmore. The building—which, if you look closely, says "YMCA" at the top—is the old YMCA building that the organization occupied from 1906 to 1949. The property is now a vacant lot, on which .

An old Main Line Life article on the Lower Merion Historical Society's website provides a history of the building: the Main Line Y, in one form or another, has been functioning since 1904. The organization began with a Bible study group hosted by two businessmen in the Merion Title and Trust Building, and in 1906, the group bought the building at 116 W Lancaster Avenue and moved in a year later.

The executive director of the Main Line Y at the time, Darrell E. Johnson, told Main Line Life:

It boasted 14 dormitory rooms (rented for $2 per week), a pool, gymnasium, bowling alleys, tennis courts next door and many meeting and reading rooms. From what I understand, it was the place to go in the community in the 1920s and 1930s. At various times the post office, free library, police department, Boy Scouts and Women's Club, among other organizations were located within the "Y."

The , as seen in a 1910 photo in the gallery above, was one of the organizations that made the YMCA its home.

By 1945, the YMCA had over 5,000 members, but its building was declining. The organization moved into a temporary home at the Autocar Company (63 W. Lancaster Ave.) in 1949, until it moved into its , which opened in 1956.

We received four responses to our first historical photo challenge—three in comments, and one on Twitter. Shout outs to , who identified the building as the YMCA, and  , the only person to name the correct intersection.

Didn't guess this one? We'll be posting the next historical photo challenge on Monday.

Many thanks to the Lower Merion Historical Society for use of their photos and research.

Barbara June 17, 2012 at 01:58 PM
That lot on Ardmore and Lancaster is not vacant for those of us who drive by and check the status of the interactive rubble sculpture at the corner. I used to avoid that corner b/c of traffic but so enjoy the changing nature of the rocks, that it's a regular route
Douglas Martindale June 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
It's a shame it's gone, what a beautiful building. This was no doubt infinitely better than whatever hastily built Rite Aid will occupy the space.
Amanda Mahnke (Editor) June 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Barbara, absolutely. Did you see our interview with Ed, the rock sculptor? http://ardmore.patch.com/articles/meet-ed-the-man-behind-the-main-line-rock-sculptures He also blogs with us here on Patch. Unfortunately, he may be taking the sculpture down soon: http://ardmore.patch.com/blog_posts/i-hear-the-fat-lady-singing
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