Rochester Democrat and Chronicle November 14, 1916
Building Just Suits All Northwest Youngsters
Considered The Most Modern Building For Boys in the World - Talks Given James G. Cutler Will Formally Hand Over the Keys Tonight
If all the boys who streamed into the Maplewood branch of the Rochester Young Men's Christian Association intend to sigh up for membership the prospective capacity of the new building will have to be increased considerably beyond five hundred the figure set for it. Last night was the informal reception for the boys of the Northwest section of the city. The formal opening will take place tonight.
The key to the spirit of the evening was touched when the speakers had finished and the boys were given free run of the gymnasium. Then came Bedlam. Medicine balls filled the air. The thunder of young feet flying around the cork running track and the clatter of scores of chest weights filled the air. Young Americans squirmed up and down the stall bars and "skinned the cat" until the cup of bliss overflowed.
The boys of the Tenth and surrounding wards had waited for last night in an agony of eagerness and the first sight of the building comprising two stories and a basement brilliantly lighted from top to bottom more than compensated them. Going up the broad cement sidewalk that leads from Driving Park avenue to the handsome steps and entrance they found themselves in a big warm looking lobby furnished with comfortable oak armchairs and a wood fire crackling in a huge fireplace on the right.
At the rear of the lobby, in which there are four concrete pillars supporting the ceiling, were oak tables very much like the directors tables of which G.A. Henry was wont to write. At the rear was the office desk, and in one corner the lunch counter to be used in summer to feed hungry patrons of the athletic field. Back of this, stairs led to the locker room, fitted with the new system of small boxes and baskets, in which are stored street or "gym" clothes, along with the large steel lockers. A clerk is in charge of the system of drying clothes by steam which ensures sanitary conditions. For the men who will have a smaller place in the branches activities a separate locker room is kept. There are 500 lockers in all.
Going ?? there is a room in which eleven showers, the pool is reached. It is twenty by sixty feet ??? there are three ways of cleaning it by a vacuum engine, by top draining and the filtration plant. The pools at the Central and Branch YMCA are the most sanitary in the state, outside of New York City. Taking a door at the left the boys entered a room in which is a pair of regulation bowling alleys.
A flight of stairs leads back to the lobby and then a central staircase takes one to the social room for men, smaller than the boys lobby downstairs that has folding doors that will allow it to be opened into one big hall. At the rear is a spotless kitchen and a door on the left leads to the gymnasium gallery through an exercise room reserved for men. Store rooms and a directors room overlooking Maplewood Park and ave.
The building which is sixty five by one hundred feet in size, and the lot on which it stands, were made possible through the gifts of George Eastman and Henry Strong and others.
Mr. Eastman who sold the land on which the building stands to the Association, gave with it the remainder which is the be used as an athletic field and picnic ground. Besides, Mr. Eastman gave $250,000 to the general fund and Mr. Strong gave $50,000. The building and its furnishings, the land and the athletic fields, are valued at $125,000. The athletic field will have six tennis courts, a six lap running track and a straightaway. The large trees in the grove will not be cut down. Plans are being drawn by William Pitkin and Charles Mulford Robinson.
Talks were given last night by Herbert P. Lansdale, who said the branch was the most up to date building for the use of boys in the world: Henry D. Shedd who presided; Frank E. Gugelman boy's secretary; Peter J. VanGeyt executive secretary of the branch, and Louis S. Foulkes, president of the association. Prayer was made by Rev. H.A. Lotec pastor of North Baptist Church.
At the formal opening tonight, which admits only adults more than 20 years old James G. Cutler, chairman of the Building Committee, will turn over the keys to Mr. Foulkes. The principal address will be given by Frank W. Pearsall state secretary.