An exciting find

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During renovation of the Downtown YMCA last year, craftsman-style tiles were salvaged from an original fireplace.  It wasn’t until the tiles were carefully extracted and cleaned that an inscription was seen on the back that said Batchelder.  By researching this name, we discovered that Ernest Batchelder was a California artist who producing hand molded tiles beginning in 1909.  His tiles, which typically include subject such as animals, birds, flowers, Mayan and Medieval motifs, were hugely popular and by the 1920s, could be found in homes and buildings across the  United States.

How his tiles came to be installed in the Downtown YMCA when it was built in 1924 is unknown. Some of the tiles that were salvaged are pictured below.

Tile salvaged from Downtown YMCA

One of the salvaged tiles

tiles in ivy design

Salvaged tiles in ivy design


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Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!