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100 Years Old: YMCA

Breaking ground ceremony for the new YMCA at 5th and Vine
Breaking ground ceremony for the new YMCA at 5th and Vine

The YMCA building is nearing the century mark. The impressive building at Vine and 5th was begun in 1913 and completed in 1914. The club had outgrown the even more impressive old YMCA and so funds were raised in 1912 for a new home. Shopbell and Co designed the six-story yellow brick and stone building which cost $240,000. The cornerstone was laid May 20, 1913 and it was dedicated June 6, 1914.

The YMCA at the corner of 5th and Vine turns 100 this year

It featured residential meeting and recreational faciliites, but the YMCA was geared a little differently then and offered lodging for travelers. As the focus shifted to fitness the Y abandoned their large building and built a new one behind it in 1981 on Old Central playground. Sometime around this time the Y also took over the old Central Gym. The old building was sold to Lockyear Business College in January 1982 and remodeled as dormitory rooms.

After Lockyear went bankrupt in 1992, the building was again vacant. In 1994 the Y returned to the their former home in need of the additional space including fitness rooms offices. The main activity room was originally a pool you can see some of the tile and signage there.

YMCA at -