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YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee

Sepia-colored photograph of the YMCA tower on the left. The facade faces slightly to the left. The building's side has a vertical "YMCA" sign on its top. The Calvary Presbyterian Church is on the right. A bus stop appears in front of the YMCA tower. A street is visible in the foreground.
Local Protestant church leaders founded the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Milwaukee in 1858 at a meeting at Plymouth Congregational Church. Grounded in the Christian revivalism of the late 1850s, Milwaukee’s YMCA served the young men migrating to the rapidly industrializing city. Early on, the association’s program featured fellowship and prayer meetings, educational lectures,… Read More

Youth Culture

Grayscale photo of a group of young men and women posing around a mound of sand on the beach. Other people and the beach waves are visible in the background.
Adults’ alarm about new social and consumer behaviors among Milwaukee’s young people were among the first indications that a modern youth culture was gaining visibility in the city during the early twentieth century. Milwaukee came to prominence as a city during a period marked by a historically high immigration flows to the U.S., and the… Read More

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

Sepia-colored long shot of fourteen young women in uniforms standing and facing the camera lens while demonstrating an exercise move. In the background, a group of people appear in an arched seating area on the upper floor. Some lean their body on the guardrails that enclosed the area. The room's floor, walls, and ceiling are visible.
In 1892 prominent Protestant women founded the Milwaukee chapter of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Their goal was to help girls, particularly those migrating to the city from the countryside, adjust to urban life by providing affordable housing and helping the migrants find employment. The YWCA offered a range of professional development, social improvement,… Read More
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