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Cross Island YMCA records

 Collection
Identifier: Y.GNY.26

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.

Dates

  • 1961-2014
  • Majority of material found within ( 1961-1989)

Creator

Language of Materials

English

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.

Extent

1.5 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)

10.2 Megabytes (6 files)

Abstract

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:
  1. Board of Managers.
  2. Building.
  3. Miscellaneous.

Physical Location

See Detailed Description section for box listing.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Louise Merriam, February 2012.

Catalog Record ID number: 6266969
Title
YMCA OF GREATER NEW YORK CROSS ISLAND BRANCH
Subtitle
An Inventory of Its Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Louise Merriam.
Date
2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-625-3445