Archives and Special Collections
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Historical Note

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Title:Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston, West Roxbury/Roslindale Branch records
Dates:1948-1995 (bulk 1951-1970)
Call Number:M62

Historical Note

In 1941 the West Roxbury Citizens' Association met with the leaders of the YMCA of Greater Boston to try to solve the growing problem of juvenile delinquency in their neighborhood. In 1942, with the help of William MacCormick, West Roxbury had its first 'Y' club. Meetings were held wherever they could find the available space: churches, cellars, schools, and playing fields.  By 1945 the activities included club meetings, sports, and a day camp for boys in the Blue Hills Reservation.

In 1948 a campaign drive to construct a permanent building began with the help of the Boston YMCA, which raised $500. Community support was strong, and in 1950 the building at 15 Bellevue Street was erected, costing $110,000. The West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA was dedicated on March 18, 1951. In the first five years of existence, 1,000 people joined, and the programs were expanded to include canoe trips for older boys, day camps for girls, Camp Stay Home for younger children, and a variety of adult programs.

During 1952 the Board of Managers began to investigate the possibility of building an addition onto 15 Bellevue Street, which would include a pool. In 1955 a building committee was formed, and in 1956 the West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA initiated a capital funds campaign for the addition. The ground breaking ceremony was held on January 26, 1958, and the building was dedicated on October 19, 1958.  In 1971 a new gymnasium building was added to the structure at 15 Bellevue Street.

Today, the West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA focuses on children and the elderly. It is a large provider of after-school care for schools in West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Dedham. Other programs offered include adult and youth sports, aquatics, fitness, and a comprehensive active older adult program.