YMCA – Northeast Branch

ymca ne 4 1951 2012.201.B1422.0413

Designed by Parr & Aderhold
1951
616 NE 4th, OKC

For years, Oklahoma City was the only major metropolitan area in the Southwest to not have a branch of the YMCA that served the African-American community.  After WWII, community leaders, both black and white, came together to raise funds for two new buildings, the downtown YMCA and this one.  Here’s an image of the groundbreaking:

ymca negro branch 1950 construction begins 2012.201.B1422.0339

The beautiful $460,000 building on Northeast 4th opened in 1951 with over 2,000 people, including the initial organizer (below) coming to check out the new center:

ymca negro branch 1952 2012.201.B1422.0395

The building remained an active branch until the YMCAs were all integrated.  The International-style building is now the Henrietta B. Foster community center.

 

(Vintage photos courtesy of the OPUBCO collection at the History Center.)