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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of Miscellaneous Branch Photographs

Historical Sketch | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: YMCA of Greater New York.
Title: Miscellaneous New York YMCA branch photographs.
Date: 1880s-1990s (bulk 1920s-1970s)
Collection Number: Y.GNY.0022
Abstract: Photographs of YMCA of Greater New York branches, buildings and activities.
Quantity: 4 cubic feet (10 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The YMCA of Greater New York is the amalgamation of several local associations in what later become the five boroughs of New York City. Shortly after its founding in 1852, the New York Association was joined by the Brooklyn Association, as well as by associations in Williamsburg, Staten Island, Greenpoint, New Utrecht, Harlem and on Grand Street and Varick Street -- all before 1869. In the years that followed, more YMCAs were formed as branches of the parent organizations of New York and Brooklyn. In addition, independent YMCA organizations merged with the New York or Brooklyn associations to become branches; both the New York and Brooklyn associations adopted the "metropolitan" model of organization by 1896. The growth of the YMCA in New York can be seen in the opening and closing of branches that continued to occur into the 21st century. Just as the New York Y added or changed programs to meet the needs of the community, the organization added, moved and closed branches whenever it felt that the mission and goals of the YMCA were best served by change.

As a result, some YMCA branches in New York were short-lived, primarily because their initial promise was not borne out by membership and program participation. Other YMCA branches were victims of changing demographics. For example, the original Harlem branch did not serve African-Americans in the 19th century; that role was performed by the Colored Men's branch located 60 blocks to the south. Harlem became an African-American neighborhood in the 20th century, and the YMCA responded to the change by opening a new branch and closing the original Harlem branch. Services formerly provided by the old Harlem branch were subsequently carried out by the Uptown branch.

In addition to serving neighborhoods throughout New York, the YMCA established highly specialized branches. These included railroad branches for railroad men, branches for people of specific ethnicity or nationality, branches for college students and branches for members of the armed services. When the need for branches such as these lessened, the Y did not hesitate to move its resources to address current, rather than past, concerns. For example, after WWII, the Y reduced or eliminated programs and branches for servicemen. As the number of railroad workers declined, the special branches catering to railroad employees were closed.

The ability of the YMCA to adapt to changing needs and circumstances is well illustrated by the history of its branches.

Information taken from History of the Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association 1853-1949 by E. Clark Worman (1952), The YMCA at 150: A history of the YMCA of greater New York, 1852-2002 by Pamela Bayless (2002), An event on Mercer Street by Terry Donoghue (1951) and from the collection.


The collection includes photographs from small or short-lived branches as well as small collections from larger branches of the New York YMCA. There are numerous images of YMCA buildings, programs and activities. Most of the photographs are professional, black and white images.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Manhattan branches
Bronx branches.
Brooklyn branches.
Queens branches.
Staten Island branches.


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Miscellaneous New York Branch Photographs. YMCA of Greater New York. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Louise Merriam, May 2009.
Catalog Record ID number: 5464341


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

Manhattan Branches

Box 29 East Side Branch, 1920s, 1950s. 2 folders.
East 86th Street. Images of first branch building (1920s), including street scenes and youth watching a movie. Also youth team photo (1950s).
Box 30 Bowery Branch, 1905-1925. 2 folders.
East 3rd Street. Exteriors, YMCA truck, cornerstone laying, street scene in lower Manhattan.
Box 42 Vanderbilt, 1950s, 1990s. 2 folders.
East 47th Street. Building exteriors, staff (1996).
Box 44 Governor's Island, 1920s-1950s. 6 folders.
Earlier known as the Army branch. Building exteriors, soldiers and officers, Halloween party, library scenes, parade, dances, dinners, plays, athletics.
Box 50 Institute Branch, 1880s-1920s. 2 folders.
Located at 222 Bowery.
Intercollegiate Branch, 1940s-1960s. 3 folders.
West 23rd Street. Lecture preparations for Dr. Paul Tillich, teen meetings and events, photos of building in Washington Square, Physicians and Surgeons Club, Lawrence House, Earl Hall.
Box 51 Armed Forces, 1940s-1960s. 3 folders.
Includes youth activities and performances.
German Branch, circa 1900. 2 folders.
Second Avenue. Building exteriors.
Pennsylvania Railroad Branch,1930s-1950s.3 folders.
Pennsylvania Station. Interior and exterior views, athletics, dining room. Also known as 72nd Street Railroad Branch.
Box 60 Chinatown Branch, 1950s.
Hester Street. Baseball team.
Colored Men's Branch, circa 1901.
Colored Men's Branch was located at 132 West 53rd Street.
Eagle Hut Branch, 1919.
Branch located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue.
East 69th Street Extension, 1950s.
Boys with bicycles in front of United Magyar Community Church.
Film Trade School, 1950s.
Civil Service Institute, 1950s.
Deep knee bends in the gym.

Brooklyn Branches

Box 30 Bedford, 1880s-1970s. 14 folders.
Bedford Avenue and Monroe Street. Building construction and exteriors, image that includes poster advertising "Learn to Drive and Repair your Own Car", group photos, athletics, interiors, aquatics, camp, ceremonies, trade school and vocational training.
Box 33 Carlton Branch, 1900-1950.7 folders.
Carlton Avenue. Athletics, dinners, ceremonies, building interiors and exteriors, group photos, youth activities and Camp Carlton.
Box 42 Flatbush Branch, 1920s-1960s.12 folders.
Church Avenue and Kenmore Place. Grand opening, youth activities, Hi-Y Sigma Nu, building plans, dinner dance, building exteriors and interiors, athletics and ceremonies, staff.
Box 43 Brooklyn Central Branch, 1880s-1990s.17 folders.
Remsen Street. Includes images of first building on Fulton Street, gym activities, youth and adult activities, ;youth Christmas event, industrial work with immigrants, group photos, massage room, ping-pong, building interiors and exteriors, athletics, aquatics, old YMCA building, youth basketball, YMCA members and staff.
Brooklyn-Queens, 1850s, 1979. 2 folders.
Includes images of original Brooklyn YMCA building on Washington Street, and youth basketball photos.
Box 50 Eastern District Branch, 1890s-1990s.9 folders.
South Ninth Street and Marcy Avenue. Meetings, youth presentations, weight lifting, camp, building exteriors and interiors, group pictures, dances, boys and girls athletics and games, staff.
Box 51 Bush Terminal,1920s. 3 folders.
Fortieth Street and Second Avenue. Includes photos of volleyball game, Americanization class, street movie night, shop meeting, annual minstrel show and building interiors and exteriors.
Box 57 New Utrecht Branch, 1920s-1950s.6 folders.
Eighty-fourth Street. Building exteriors and interiors, athletics and ceremonies.
Greenpoint, 1930s-1990s.5 folders.
Manhattan Avenue. Includes YMCA executive meeting, building interiors, athletics and ceremonies, staff (1996).
Box 60 C.O.B.Y., 1950s.
Career Opportunities for Brooklyn Youth.
Fort Hamilton Branch, undated.
Exterior of building.
Sunset Park Branch, 1950s. 1 folder.

Bronx Branches

Box 60 Kingsbridge Branch, 1958.
Boys playing with train set.

Queens Branches

Box 29 Eastern Queens Branch, 1950s-1980s. 15 folders.
Hillside Avenue. Gymnastics, youth activities, construction, ground-breaking, site plans, athletics, exteriors and ceremonies.
Ridgewood Branch, 1950s-1980s. 5 folders.
YMCA Twirlers, outdoor ceremony, youth arts and crafts, youth activities and annual dinner dance. See also finding aid for Highland Branch photographs at http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/html/ymca/ygny0016x1.phtml.
Box 33 Long Island City Branch, 1930s-1990s. 10 folders.
Academy Street. Athletics, building exteriors and interiors, ceremonies, exhibit of Henry Kaufman Day Camp and Family Center. photos provided by branch Camera Club for display in "Our Boys", hockey team with pro hockey player, staff )1996).
Box 50 Bay Ridge, 1960s.
Fourth Avenue and Senator Street. Youth, including Summer Fun Club.
Box 51 Central Queens,1920s-1960s. 14 folders.
Parsons Boulevard. Youth activities, building exteriors and interiors, day camp, athletics, aquatics, dinners, crafts, camping, Jackie Robinson and Saturday night dances.
Box 60 Fort Slocum Branch, 1920s, 1950s. 2 folders.
WW I solders, building exteriors.

Staten Island Branches

Box 44 Staten Island Branch, 1950s-1970s. 4 folders.
Camp Mohawk, day camp, arts and crafts, picnics, children's activities, dinners.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- Brooklyn.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- Bronx.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- Staten Island.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings.
New York (N.Y.)
YMCA of Greater New York.
Brooklyn and Queens Young Men’s Christian Association.
Types of Documents: