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NC-215: Originally Installed in 2015.

Walnut Street YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) was designed by Wilmington architect G. Morris Whitehead II as a community center for the city’s African-American population. Construction began on the three-story structure in 1939 and the building was dedicated in September 1940. A gift from Mr. and Mrs. H Fletcher Brown funded both the 1939 construction and a maintenance trust fund. The finished site featured a fully equipped gymnasium, auditorium, pool, library, bowling alleys, and billiard room. The facility housed both the YMCA and the YWCA and provided meeting space for organizations like the Human Rights League of Delaware and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). A 1941 meeting sponsored by the National Negro Congress to support an equal rights bill for Delaware African Americans was held here. Speakers included John P. Davis of the Negro Congress, and Louis L. Redding, Delaware’s first African-American attorney. The Walnut Street YMCA has continued as a hub for Delaware’s African American community because of its proximity to Wilmington’s Eastside neighborhood. In 1998, the original Walnut Street YMCA was demolished to build a new YMCA on the same site. The tower and relief friezes, depicting Marian Anderson, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. George Washington Carver, are the only original 1939 remnants used in the new building.

 

 

Location: 1000 N Walnut St Wilmington, DE 19801


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