Young Men’s Christian Association Plaque

Young Men’s Christian Association


2001 Allston Way map it


designated in 1990


Benjamin G. McDougall, Architect, 1910

Originating among working class Englishmen in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association was brought to North America in 1851 to promote a “full and balanced life” through religious devotion and athletic activities. Berkeley’s charter organization was established in 1903.

Business and service organizations raised the substantial sum of $118,003 to construct this Georgian Revival-style building, designed by the architect of the nearby Shattuck Hotel, on land donated by Rosa M. Shattuck and her estate. The original exterior remains largely intact.

An adjacent 1945 building for post-war USO servicemen’s activities was demolished for construction of new residential and gymnasium spaces in 1960, and expanded further in 1994.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

  • YMCA (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • YMCA facade (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • “Allston Way, from Shattuck, West,” postcard (ca.1915), Sarah Wikander collection.

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society