I feel this is not really a Saint Louis landmark. The YMCA was founded in London and is everywhere in the US. There may even be more YMCA’s than Subways nowadays (okay, I take that back, there is such a thing as too much hyperbole). But maybe it’s not important that it’s from Saint Louis, but what it has done for the city since its local founding in 1853.
Try to imagine what impact an organization can have through 19 branches, in seven counties. Over 150 years of organization is impressive no matter what, and perhaps it is not the organization that is the landmark, but its legacy. When 23 men started a bible study so many years ago, they may have never imagined that their initiative would grow to 19 branches, a very recognizable name and a secretly contagious disco hit sung by an eclectic ensemble of popular gay fantasy personae. You never know what your bible study may spark (but don’t let it stop you from starting one).
This blog post is part of a series on landmarks in Saint Louis. I take one of the 250 landmarks selected for the 250th anniversary of the city and look up some information. This way, I hope to get to know my new city a little better every week together with you, my readers.