HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Y.M.C.A., (second building, view 1 of 2)
Y.M.C.A., (second building, view 1 of 2). This postcard shows an artist's drawing of what the new young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) building was designed to look like. It appeared in the April 22, 1912, Springfield Leader. The second view is a photograph taken of the finished building, so it more accurately depicts the building when it was new. Note that the decoration on top of the building appears to completely encircle it in the artist's drawing, but in the photograph it only decorates the front. Note also that there appears to be a concrete-looking addition on the back of the photograph.
The main building of the Y.M.C.A. is constructed of brick with stone and terracotta trimmings. It was built in 1913 to replace the original Y.M.C.A. building which was destroyed by fire in 1911. The building was located at 417 South Jefferson and opened to the public on September 25, 1913. It cost $100,000 to build. A floor plan in the July 7, 1912, Republican (newspaper) shows a bowling alley, barber shop, swimming pool and cafeteria in the basement. The first floor had a gymnasium and offices. On the second floor was a running track and "educational" rooms. The third and fourth floors included dormitories with over 30 rooms. An addition was added in 1971.
In 1982 the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A. merged to become the Springfield Family Y. The Y.W.C.A. building across the street was sold and the proceeds were used to help build the southside Y.M.C.A.
In 1996, the original Y.M.C.A. building, called the G. Pearson Ward Y since 1987, was completely renovated. What was modern in 1913 was "dingy" and "dark" in the mid 1990s.