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The Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the Arizona community for over 100 years at this location. Located in downtown Phoenix, the YMCA is promoting living a healthy lifestyle through programming, events, and a center equipped with a gym, pool and rooms for community members to reside in. The organization offers specific programs and activities catered toward each age group of the community including swim team, yoga, and dance. The organization's core values are caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.


  • The YMCA housing unit
  • YMCA in 1911 (left) YMCA in 2006 (right)

The first temporary location for the YMCA in this area was open for 20 years starting in 1892, located then at 1st Street and Washington. In 1906, $103,000 was raised to build a permanent location, but the building was not completed until 1911 due to a recession. The first permanent housing the Y was built at Monroe St and 2nd Ave, consisted of three stories, with a gym, pool, club room, and residence rooms. It was designed so a fourth floor could be added, which occurred in 1915.

In 1942, with World War II going on, the Y wanted to do its part with helping members of the military. With this motive, they added a servicemen's dorm, where people in the service who were passing through Phoenix could come and stay for a night or two. Fast forward to 1944, another $525,000 was raised after a proposition by Director John C. Lincoln to build a new location. During the construction over the years, concerns of the Cold War had an effect on the layout of the building. This YMCA, had downtown Phoenix's biggest civil defense center. When it opened January 21, 1952, the center hosted over 18,000 people in the first week. 

The latest renovation happened in 2006 with a cost of $6.9 million, when it was also renamed the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA. Today, it shares its building with Arizona State's Sun Devil Fitness Complex. It contains a housing unit for both men and women, offers leadership programs for teenagers, child care, activity programs for young children, and volunteering opportunities. 

Bowling, Joshua. "Valley of the Sun YMCA Sees Light After Years of Multi-Million Dollar Deficits." April 27, 2017. Accessed December 7, 2018. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/04/27/valley-of-the-sun-sun-ymca-sees-light-after-multimillion-dollar-deficits/99795402/

Towne, Douglas. "Fit-ting Legacy,"  Phoenix Magazine. April 2014. Accessed December 7, 2018. http://www.phoenixmag.com/History/fit-ting-legacy.html

Towne, Douglas. "The history of the YMCA in downtown Phoenix." azcentral (Phoenix) July 10, 2015. Accessed December 7, 2018. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/2015/07/10/history-ymca-downtown-phoenix-cbt/29989171/

Valley of the Sun YMCA. Accessed December 06, 2018. https://valleyymca.org/lincoln/.

White, Kaila. "The Lincoln Legacy." Phoenix Magazine. April 2012. Accessed December 7, 2018. http://www.phoenixmag.com/history/the-lincoln-legacy.html