Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures; built works - recreation areas and structures - gymnasiums

Designers: Eley, Frederick Harry, Architect (firm); Frederick Harry Eley (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923

3 stories

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205 West Civic Center Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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The Southwest Builder and Contractor stated in its 10/13/1922 issue: "Santa Ana--Architect Frederick H. Eley...has been commissioned to prepare plans for the proposed YMCA building. The building committee of the association is visiting other cities to secure ideas for the new plant." (See "Santa Ana," Southwest Builder and Contractor, 10/13/1922, p.40, col. 2.) The City of Santa Ana owned the property in 2014, and had possessed the vacant building for about 20 years prior to that.

Three stories high, this Spanish Colonial Revival building functioned as an important community recreation center in its earliest days. The building housed meeting rooms, offices, locker rooms, a kitchen, dining room, and a 50,000-gallon, basement pool. The first floor had separate lobbies for men and boys, as well as a reading room, with a fireplace, off the men's lobby. The lobby had the heavy interior beam work typical of the Spanish Colonial Revival. Santa Ana residents founded Toastmaster's International in the basement of the Santa Ana YMCA in 10/1924, according to organization member, Bob Palmer, District 12 Toastmasters Historian. (See email to the author, from Bob Palmer, 08/29/2014.) Photos of the YMCA were included in a presentation portfolio of his work compiled Frederick Eley; it is now housed at the Santa Ana Public Library.

PCAD id: 15527