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Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association (Boston, Mass.) records

 Collection
Identifier: M148

Overview

The Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association is a non-profit organization providing support services such as childcare, hospital assistance, food services, temporary housing for homeless families, training classes, and health and fitness services to members of the military, their families, and local civilian communities. The Boston Armed Services YMCA was founded in 1917, by eight local men with an interest in military support work. With funds raised by the community, a Boston Armed Services YMCA facility was constructed at 32 City Square in the Charlestown area of Boston. This was the first YMCA facility dedicated solely to Armed Services support work. In 1984, the Massachusetts Highway Department seized the City Square site by eminent domain for the Central Artery / North Area highway construction project. Over the next six years, the Board of Trustees and senior staff searched for a relocation site and planned a replacement structure. In 1991, a new Armed Service YMCA facility was erected at 150 Second Avenue in the Charlestown Navy Yard. In 2002, the Boston Armed Services YMCA's status as a branch of the national Armed Services YMCA was terminated after being reclassified several times. The facility was renamed The Constitution Inn YMCA / Charlestown. The building houses a branch of the Greater Boston YMCA, which is governed separately. The Constitution Inn YMCA / Charlestown continues to serve the military and civilian communities.

Dates

  • 1917-2003 (bulk 1975-2003)

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

Welfare Case Worker Reports file in Series 2. are restricted for 75 years from their date of creation.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Some copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

The Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association is a non-profit organization providing support services to members of the military, their families, and local civilian communities. Active since the Civil War, the association has functioned in its present form since 1984 when it separated from the National Council of YMCAs, and reorganized under the United States Department of Defense. The Armed Services YMCA of the USA is a national umbrella organization which oversees local Armed Services YMCA branches. The association provides programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, food services, temporary housing for homeless families, training classes, and health and fitness services.

The Boston Armed Services YMCA was founded in 1917, when eight local men formed the Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of YMCAs for Army and Navy Work. The Trustees signed a contract with the National Council of YMCAs, authorizing the Boston facility to operate as an official YMCA branch. With funds raised by the community, the Boston Armed Services YMCA facility was constructed at 32 City Square in the Charlestown area of Boston. This was the first YMCA facility dedicated solely to Armed Service support work. The Boston Armed Services YMCA was also the only Armed Services YMCA branch to hold the title to its own facility.

In 1984, the Massachusetts Highway Department seized the City Square site by eminent domain for the Central Artery / North Area highway construction project. Over the next six years, the Board of Trustees and senior staff searched for a relocation site and began planning a new structure. A site was found in the nearby Charlestown Navy Yard, Parcel 150 on Second Avenue, owned by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). The organization entered into a joint venture development agreement with the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) housing development organization, and acquired the property from the BRA in 1990. Construction began promptly, and the new building opened in 1992.

At the same time the City Square site was being seized, the National Council of YMCAs began questioning the validity of the Boston Armed Services YMCA's branch status. In 1985, the original 1917 contract with the National Council was considered void, as it had been amended, revised, and ignored for much of the Boston Armed Services YMCA's existence. It was agreed that the Boston Armed Services YMCA would continue to operate under the YMCA name in spite of this, as the services provided by the organization were so valuable to the military and civilian communities. In 1988, the Boston Armed Services YMCA was classified as an affiliate of the national Armed Services YMCA, but returned to a provisional branch status again in 1998.

In 2002, the Boston Armed Services YMCA's branch status was terminated completely, and the trustees ceased all YMCA operations by 2003. The Trustees were renamed the Massachusetts Trustees for Armed Service Work, Inc. The facility was renamed The Constitution Inn YMCA / Charlestown. The Constitution Inn, a value-priced hotel which houses a local branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston, is governed by a local board, the Massachusetts Trustees for Armed Service Work, Inc., and continues to serve the military and civilian communities.

Chronology

  • 1917 The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of YMCAs for Army and Navy Work is founded. A contract with the National Council of YMCAs is signed, granting the Boston organization branch status. Money is raised for construction of Armed Services YMCA facility.
  • 1918 Building at 32 City Square, Charlestown, MA, opens.
  • 1984 Massachusetts Highway Department seizes the City Square site by eminent domain. The site is to be used for the Central Artery / North Area projects. The Armed Services YMCA of the USA separates from the National Council of YMCAs. It is reorganized under the Department of Defense as an independent organization.
  • 1985 Validity of 1917 contract is questioned. Boston Armed Services YMCA granted provisional branch status.
  • 1986-1990 Trustees and senior staff search for a functional replacement site. Planning for a new structure begins. The City Square structure is razed.
  • 1988 City Square property vacated. Boston Armed Services YMCA becomes an official affiliate of the Armed Services YMCA of the USA.
  • 1991 Joint venture agreement signed between The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of the YMCA for Army and Navy Work and National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Housing Inc. to form the Parcel 150 Development Associates Limited Partnership. The Parcel 150 Associates sign a ground lease with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). Ground is broken for new structure by Peabody Construction Co., Inc. and J.W. French Architects.
  • 1992 New building opens.
  • 2002 National YMCA terminates branch status. The building is renamed The Constitution Inn and reclassified as a YMCA affiliate, as it houses a branch of the Greater Boston YMCA.
  • 2003 Massachusetts Trustees cease YMCA operations. The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations for Army and Navy Work changes its name to the Massachusetts Trustees for Armed Services Work, Inc., dropping the YMCA reference. National YMCA demands conveyance of the Charlestown Navy Yard building.
1917
The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of YMCAs for Army and Navy Work is founded. A contract with the National Council of YMCAs is signed, granting the Boston organization branch status. Money is raised for construction of Armed Services YMCA facility.
1918
Building at 32 City Square, Charlestown, MA, opens.
1984
Massachusetts Highway Department seizes the City Square site by eminent domain. The site is to be used for the Central Artery / North Area projects. The Armed Services YMCA of the USA separates from the National Council of YMCAs. It is reorganized under the Department of Defense as an independent organization.
1985
Validity of 1917 contract is questioned. Boston Armed Services YMCA granted provisional branch status.
1986-1990
Trustees and senior staff search for a functional replacement site. Planning for a new structure begins. The City Square structure is razed.
1988
City Square property vacated. Boston Armed Services YMCA becomes an official affiliate of the Armed Services YMCA of the USA.
1991
Joint venture agreement signed between The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of the YMCA for Army and Navy Work and National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Housing Inc. to form the Parcel 150 Development Associates Limited Partnership. The Parcel 150 Associates sign a ground lease with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). Ground is broken for new structure by Peabody Construction Co., Inc. and J.W. French Architects.
1992
New building opens.
2002
National YMCA terminates branch status. The building is renamed The Constitution Inn and reclassified as a YMCA affiliate, as it houses a branch of the Greater Boston YMCA.
2003
Massachusetts Trustees cease YMCA operations. The Massachusetts Trustees of the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations for Army and Navy Work changes its name to the Massachusetts Trustees for Armed Services Work, Inc., dropping the YMCA reference. National YMCA demands conveyance of the Charlestown Navy Yard building.

Extent

7 cubic feet (7 containers, 1 flat file folder)

System of Arrangement:

Organized into three series: Series 1. Governance; Series 2. Administration; Series 3. Audiovisual.

Physical Location

33/2-3, FF5/D3

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Received from the YMCA of Greater Boston.
Title
Finding aid for the Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Cynthia Rufo
Date
June 10, 2008
Language of description
Description Is In English

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US