The former Near West Side regional headquarters of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) was approved as an official City of Chicago landmark by City Council today.
Located at the southeast corner of West Monroe Street and South Ashland Avenue, the complex consists of five Classical and Georgian Revival buildings constructed between 1907 and 1931. Characterized by red masonry exteriors with limestone details, the buildings played an important role in the social and cultural history of Chicago by providing lodging and an array of recreational and educational activities for thousands of young men and women, including veterans and immigrants, according to the Landmarks Commission. Different phases were designed by the noted architecture firms of Robert Berlin; Perkins, Chatten & Hammond; Shattuck & Hussey; and Robert DeGolyer. More recently, the complex served as the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center.
The designation, which was recommended by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks in September, will protect all exterior elevations and rooflines from significant alteration.
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