Washington Hall was built on the corner of Washington Street
and Public Square
in the 1853. The building replaced The Perkins Hotel (built by Hart
and Baker Massey in 1812) which was owned by Gilbert and Norris Woodruff
, and had burned in 1851.
The Woodruffs commissioned architect Otis Wheelock
to design their new structure. The building was occupied by many businesses, notably the Merchant Exchange. It was also the first home to the Agricultural Insurance Company
. The structure housed a large auditorium on it's third floor. Many 19th century orators spoke at Washington Hall, the most famous being abolitionist Frederick Douglass
The building became the home to the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA
) in 1870. Washington Hall was demolished in 1913 to make way for the current YMCA Building.
Historic Structures in Watertown