In Time - Historic Peterborough Y
Thanks to the great people at Atria Development and the Peterborough DBIA, I recently had the opportunity to photograph within the Historic Peterborough YMCA building on George Street. While the building has been left empty for many years (and as such many areas have fallen into disrepair),the familiar character of the building is unmistakable. The labyrinth of hallways and rooms give a new experience around every corner, from creaking wood floors to dust covered concrete and yes, maybe a few puddles. Exploring the giant interior was an experience in itself, but having the opportunity to capture the building and its unique character was truly amazing.
My intention going into this project was not to photograph the conventional places. While the gyms, running tracks and pools are certainly more "iconic" of the YMCA, it is often what is overlooked that tells the greatest story. With this in mind I found myself searching for the odd places and small details to truly capture the mood of the space wether it be the water tanks below the pool, the wooden staircases or the dim hallways in between.
Possibly the most memorable experience was climbing to the turret located in the corner tower. Not only was there a great view of the streets below, but the fully wooden structure shows true craftsmanship of times past. With many walls removed, the wooden structure is bare with a clear view of the outer brick walls. I probably could have spent the entire day in this one spot.
Having the opportunity to capture this building and freeze it in time was a privilege. It was an amazing feeling being in a place that spans such a broad history, thinking about all the people that have walked these corridors, and thinking of all of those who will walk within these walls in the future.
Patrick J. Stephen