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  • Centre Avenue and Francis Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
  • Category: Landmarks
  • Sub-Category: African American History Guide
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Centre Avenue YMCA

Brief History

Built in 1922 and opened on September 24, 1923, this was a very popular neighborhood gathering place, especially from the 1920s through the 1950s. Black and white students came here to see nationally famous black speakers and entertainers perform and lecture. Black college students, who were restricted from living in Oakland or any part of downtown Pittsburgh, would eat, sleep and study at the YMCA. James A. Dorsey Sr., a prominent figure in the Hill's black community, became the YMCA's first educator. The building was dedicated in 1994 with an historic plaque and became a city Historic Landmark in 1995.

Condition/Architectural Notes

Four-story brick building. City Historic Landmark.