Cross Island YMCA records
SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION
The records are primarily focused on the building projects undertaken at the Eastern Queens branch. Materials include correspondence, planning documents, minutes of meetings, fundraising materials, brochures and flyers publicizing the buildings, programs for dinners and other fundraising events, and building dedications. The collection also includes minutes of the Board of Managers, branch program schedules and newspaper clippings reporting on branch events, personnel and sports. Includes digital files in PDF format.
- Majority of material found within ( 1961-1989)
- YMCA of Greater New York. Cross Island Branch. (Organization)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Analog (non-digital) material open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room. The digital files are available upon request. Please contact the University Archives to arrange access to these 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 GREATER NEW YORK CROSS ISLAND BRANCH
The Cross Island branch of the YMCA of Greater New York began in 1955 as the Eastern Queens extension of the Central Queens branch, which had been a fixture in the Jamaica part of the borough since 1917. The impetus for establishing YMCA programs came in part because of increasing youth delinquency and growing numbers of robberies, muggings and gang fights in eastern parts of Queens. Local business owners and members of service organizations such as Kiwanis advocated for the expansion of YMCA programs in the area as a means of combatting teen violence, and the Central Queens branch agreed to assist. The Eastern Queens branch opened in a donated storefront on Springfield Avenue in Queens Village, with limited professional staff and help not only from the Central Queens branch but from local churches and schools. Athletic activities took place in public parks. Field trips to places of interest both in the city and out-of-town were an important part of the program.
The shoestring operation was instantly successful, so much so that plans for a building emerged not long after the branch began operations. However, a purpose-built building was not opened until 1965. Located at 238-10 Hillside Avenue, in the Bellrose neighborhood, the new branch was located on land purchased from the State of New York. The construction cost of the building was approximately $750,000. Despite its new building, Eastern Queens retained its status as an extension of Central Queens until 1974.
In 1979, the YMCA once again acquired state land, adjacent to the building. Jack Kleinoder, long a supporter of the Eastern Queens branch, made the purchase on behalf of the YMCA. Fundraising for an addition began in 1983, with Mr. Kleinoder taking a leading role, and a significant addition to the 1965 building was opened in 1987, named after the branch's benefactor. The addition allowed the branch to strengthen its focus on accessibility, which included nationally-recognized swimming and other programs for disabled children and adults.
In 1989, the branch name changed to Cross Island branch. It continues its emphasis on accessibility, and in 1991 was designated an aquatic training center for the Special Olympics.
1.5 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)
28.6 Megabytes (10 digital files)
Collected minutes, planning documents, newspaper clippings, brochures, flyers and program announcements from the Cross Island (formerly Eastern Queens) branch of the YMCA of Greater New York.
ORGANIZATION/ARRANGEMENT OF THE RECORDS
These documents are organized into the following series:
- Board of Managers.
See Detailed Description section for box listing.
Processed by: Louise Merriam, February 2012.
Catalog Record ID number: 6266969
- Brochures Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Kleinoder, Jack, 1906-1993
- Pamphlets. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Queens County (N.Y.). Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- YMCA of Greater New York. Central Queens Branch
- YMCA of Greater New York. Eastern Queens Branch.
- Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- Queens County Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- YMCA OF GREATER NEW YORK CROSS 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