Historic Detroit

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

YMCA Western Branch - Photos

A 2022 view at the gymnasium

A different angle at the gymnasium with a view at the quite unusual running track

A look out over the courtyard

Next to the gym was the weight lifting room

Racquetball court

A different view at the Racquetball court

One of the residential floors

The triangle was the symbol of the YMCA back then, before they went to the "Y"-shaped symbol we know today, which if you look at it closely, still incorporates the triangle into the design. The three sides of the triangle corresponded to the three points identified on the frieze sculpture above the entrance: Mind, Body, and Spirit.

A tile water fountain on the first floor

Gymnasium floor detail

Hallway leading to racquetball courts

Men's entrance detail

Boy's entrance

Another view out at the courtyard

The brick walls and its fireplaces featured many Pewabic tile insets.

A fireplace in the main entrance area

The swimming pool with its beautiful tile work

Tile work detail

"Club" area in the basement

Detroit Free Press issues from the 1940s show that there was a Kiwanis Club in the building in the 1940s.

The Southwest Exchange Club resided in this building also for many years. The first local Exchange Club was formed in Detroit in 1911.

Clubroom fireplace in the basement

Severe water damage can be seen throughout the entire building, including the basement

A room number very specific to the location of the building

A staircase leading up to the residential area

Staircase detail

Back on the first floor this area looks like a general meeting place with wooden divider walls

Beautiful woodwork

Another section of the divider wall

Some of the rooms on the first floor still show the former beauty of the place

The Western Branch sign lit up by a nearby LED street light

A view at the gymnasium from the courtyard

The backside of the building in 2022

The backside of the building in 2022