Y.M.C.A. Central Building

Individual Landmark




Address: 36 9 th Street South

Neighborhood: Downtown West

Construction Date: 1917-19

Contractor: Shattuck and Hussey

Architect: Long and Lamoreaux

Architectural Style: Gothic Revival

Historic Use: Public - Clubhouse

Current Use: Private Residences

Date of Local Designation: 1996

Date of National Register Designation: 1995

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture, Master Architects

Period of Significance: 1919-

Historic Profile: Noted for its "elaborate surface decoration and evocative, romantic image rather than structural innovation," the Y.M.C.A. Central Building was completed in 1919. As part of a wave of post World War I construction in the central business district, the 12-story tower helped to define the Minneapolis skyline until the 1950s. While the tower employs the common "Wedding Cake" mode – composed of distinct layers, including a base, shaft and top – an innovative use of gothic motifs distinguishes it from other buildings. Gothic detailing was chosen by prominent local architects Louis L. Long and Lowell Lamoreaux for several reasons. On one hand, the detailing emphasized the building’s verticality, a desired symbol of corporate power. On the other, the Gothic detailing, with its symbolic association with churches, fit with the Y.M.C.A.’s value system.

Photo Credits:

1937, Norton and Peel, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form," October 1995.

Updated: February 2007

Last updated Nov 22, 2011



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