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YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee

Fundraising efforts following the end of WWII led to the construction of a new central YMCA building on Wisconsin Avenue in 1957, as pictured here. The building has also served as a dormitory for Marquette University.
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

A group of young men and women enjoy a day at the beach during the first half of the twentieth century.
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

A group of young women are gathered at the Milwaukee YMCA for an exercise class in this undated photograph.
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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