Renovated Central Parkway YMCA reopens to the public

Central Parkway YMCA reopens to the public
Posted at 6:18 AM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 07:12:51-04

CINCINNATI -- After 19 months of a renovation project that cost more than $30 million, the historic Central Parkway YMCA reopened to the public at 5 a.m. Thursday.

The nine-story Renaissance Revival building at the corner of Elm Street and Central Parkway features a light-filled two-story fitness center, a new 25-yard, three-lane indoor lap pool, four new studios offering fitness classes and cycling, a renovated full-court gymnasium and lots of other unique features.

Check here for the YMCA's group exercise schedule. Normal hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati association offices will also be located here. Upper floors of the building have been renovated into 65 affordable apartments for seniors and are being operated by the Model Group and Episcopal Retirement Services. The grand opening for that project is slated for August.

The Central Parkway YMCA in 1920.

A news release called the building one of the largest and most historic structures in Over-the-Rhine, adding that President William Howard Taft laid the cornerstone for the building in 1917. This main branch was completed in 1918 with two gymnasiums, a swimming pool, handball courts, bowling alleys, a cafeteria and 331 rooms for resident men.

Founded in 1848 by Sunday school teachers of Central Presbyterian Church, the Cincinnati “Y” is said to have been the first in the United States, according to the WPA Guide to Cincinnati. The building is known for its educational program, character-building activities and its law school. It served as a United Service Organization center during WWII in 1941 for American troops.