Governors Island (Army / Fort Jay) YMCA records
SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION
The collection of the Governors Island branch of the New York YMCA includes materials on the history of the Governors Island YMCA branch in addition to extensive correspondence regarding the merger between YMCA of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Queens YMCA. Also included are governing documents such as bylaws, planning information, anniversary programs and Board of Managers minutes as well as documents and correspondence related to the license to build a YMCA building on Governor's Island.
- Majority of material found within ( 1946-1963)
- YMCA of Greater New York. Governors Island Branch. (Organization)
Language of Materials
Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
HISTORY OF GOVERNORS ISLAND YMCA
The Governors Island branch of the YMCA of Greater New York, is also known as the Army branch or the Fort Jay branch. It was established in 1899 during the Spanish-American War as the Army Branch, and was part of a directive that authorized the War and Navy Departments to license the YMCA to construct buildings on military posts. Governors Island, located at the mouth of the East River, is actually closer to Brooklyn. However, the work at the Army branch on Governors Island was undertaken by the YMCA of the City of New York, and later the YMCA of Greater New York. The first building was a frame structure built in 1900. In 1924, the National War Work Council contracted with the New York association to plan and operate a YMCA paid for by the Council. In 1927, a new building, supported in part by a donation from William E. Dodge, opened with an auditorium, gym with squash courts, library, canteen and other rooms. It was deigned to be a community center not just for military men, but also for their families. In 1928, the branch was renamed the Fort Jay branch. In 1941, the name changed again to the Governors Island Branch.
During World War II, hundreds of volunteers and additional paid staff were employed to meet the needs of the thousands of troops stationed on Governors Island. After the war, the program for enlisted men included weekly dances with hostesses from the New York area, live shows, games, television, music, and services that included counseling, housing referrals, and activities for teens.
As the 1950s drew to a close, it became apparent that the branch was not able to raise funds at the level needed to sustain the high quality of services the Army expected and the YMCA wished to provide. Moreover, the Army was increasingly providing services formerly offered by the YMCA. For example, the Army renovated the post gymnasium, effectively eliminating the need for the YMCA gymnasium. Improvements in the on-post library meant that the YMCA library was no longer needed. For all these and other reasons, in December, 1962, the YMCA decided to leave Governors Island.
.7 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)
Collected correspondence, minutes, brochures and historical material from the Governors Island YMCA..
See Detailed Description section for box listing.
Processed by: Louise Merriam, April 2012.
Catalog Record ID number: 6315589
- Dodge, W.E. (William Earl), 1832-1903
- Fort Jay (N.Y.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- National War Work Council, Y.M.C.A. of the United States
- Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York. Army Branch.
- Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York. Fort Jay Branch.
- Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- YMCA OF GREATER NEW YORK GOVERNORS ISLAND BRANCH:
- An Inventory of Its Records
- Finding aid prepared by Louise Merriam.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Collecting Area Details
Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area