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80s Everett: The Old YMCA

80s Everett: The Old YMCA

In 1988 Barb Lamoureux started selling real estate. Thirty years later we’re celebrating Barb's legacy in Everett by heading back to the beginning to remember what Everett was like in the 1980s. Our next stop: The Old YMCA.

To step into the YMCA is to sense the history in this old Downtown Everett building. That (and the scent of chlorine) is the first thing to grab your attention. This century-old building is a cornerstone of our community. As we’ll see, its fate remains uncertain, but for now let’s celebrate what the Y is—and has long been—for the city of Everett.

The grand brick building that you see today was established in the 1920s. You can see the initial cornerstone engraved with the founding date near the intersection of California and Rockefeller Avenue.

There was actually another wooden YMCA at this location that burned down. This 1920s Y is the second building to occupy the lot.

The people of Everett really wanted to make this brick building happen. The community gathered together to raise money for its construction. As the building was being erected, early YMCA members were so eager to work out that they practiced swimming in the chilly waters of Port Gardner!

The exterior of the Everett YMCA

The exterior of the Everett YMCA

The 1920s edifice has been remodeled and added to over the years so that navigating the sprawling, half-block-large community center today is to be delightfully lost in a labyrinthian puzzle of pools, gyms, offices, and weight rooms.

But say that’s part of the charm of the building.

One of the highlights of the YMCA is the old 1920s wooden track. The floorboards have been cut with great skill so that they slope up on the edges, creating a nice contoured and creaking path. The whole track is suspended in the air and sits above an old gym with wooden floors and punching bags.

Here are a few other fun facts you may not know about the Y.

  • There’s a cemented-over swimming pool underneath the gym.  

  • There’s an entire floor of dormitories cordoned off, locked up and labeled with actual signage that says “ghost town.” Now that’s eerie.

  • There’s a “sky track” on the roof that offers sweeping views of the Cascade Mountains and the Everett skyline. That makes for a breathtaking view while getting your workout on.

All these amenities and more are yours to be enjoyed and celebrated in the price of a monthly Y membership.

The current YMCA building on Rockefeller is up for sale. A new building is being constructed in the Glacier Peak Neighborhood and is slated to be completed by late 2019.

What will happen to the old Y? Hopefully, preservationists, historians and the public at large will come together to save this storied building as a public landmark.

Maybe the people of Everett will rally around the old brick building one more time to celebrate what our community is and always has been: a place where recreation and public buildings contribute to a better place to live.

Many things have changed over the last few decades in Everett, but some things remain the same, like Lamoureux Real Estates dedication to serving the Everett communities real estate needs. Cheers to Barb Lamoureux on 30 years!

That’s it for this month’s '80s Everett! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get all of our articles in your inbox.

Visit the YMCA

2720 Rockefeller Avenue, Everett, WA 98201
Phone: (425) 258-9211

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