YMCA Building

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Description: Postcard of the YMCA Building on the Paseo between 18th and 19th Streets
Location: SC58
Collection: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Historical Article: Eight thousand people attended the ceremonies of the laying of the corner stone of the new YMCA on the Paseo between 18th and 19th, May 31, 1914. Five bands and 2,000 blacks marched to the site. Henry M. Beardsley, ex-mayor of Kansas City, was the principal speaker. A number of lodges appeared in uniform.The five story YMCA building and furnishings cost approximately $100,000, of which Julius Rosenthal gave $25,000. The black community raised another $25,000, and $25,000 was raised by the Social Betterment Campaign. The story of how the money came in and the people who gave it commands one's admiration, said a Kansas City Star story of Jan. 31, 1915. From a houseman, a furnace tender and odd-jobs man who never made more than $40 a month in his life, came $150. Pullman porters used to come in with dime banks, the kind that holds $5, and make payments on their subscriptions. An old woman with an address on 9th Street gave $25 and it developed she was working at a hotel and making $4 a week. But she paid it all, 50 cents, $1, $2 at a time.The completed building furnished rooms for 85 men rooms at a rate of $1.50 to $2.50 a week. Each room had electric light, steam heat, a bed and a big window.The facility boasted an excellent cafeteria. Gymnasium classes and a swimming pool in the basement were well attended. Sounds of jazz piano were often heard by passers-by.Commented The Star Jan. 31, 1915: Set in the heart of the negro district, the Paseo YMCA has a big job to do. The workers believe they are in the right place, that they have the right agency and that they are going to achieve.Today the building is used as a Boy's Club, the George W. Gates Memorial Unit.Kansas City TimesFebruary 26, 1982
Barcode: 20000545
Item Type: Postcard


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