Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

YMCA (Downtown Branch)

The city's grand old YMCA was the home for countless young Detroit athletes, and ended up being demolished for the home of some of its best-known ones.

It stood at Witherell and East Adams streets and was designed by the firm Donaldson & Meier. The growing city had outgrown the old Y at Grand River Avenue and Griswold Street, so J.L. Hudson and other benefactors set out to raise a small fortune to build something a little bigger. What was then the largest YMCA in the world opened Jan. 1, 1909.

But when the Ilitch family decided to ask the City to help it build a new stadium for the Detroit Tigers downtown, the YMCA found itself in the way of progress.

It was sold in October 1996 for $5 million, more than five times its assessed value but close to the fair market value set by an appraiser for the Stadium Authority.

The YMCA fell to the wrecking ball in late 1997 and early 1998. Comerica Park opened in 2000.

More on this building coming soon.