Blue Triangle Branch, Y. W. C. A. Building

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In the early 20th century, Houston's African American community wanted to provide recreational facilities for its youth and for African American troops stationed at Camp Logan. Various groups formed, including two interested in the welfare of young girls. The Camp Logan Activities Committee offered civics and morality instruction, and a committee created by Mary L. Jones aimed to form an organization dedicated to girls' moral and spiritual growth.

During World War I, a national representative from the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) worked with Jones to open a recreation center in 1917 in the Masonic building at 806 Clay. Following the war, the center applied to Houston's YWCA for branch status, which was given in 1920. The Blue Triangle Branch, YWCA, offered athletic, musical and educational programs for girls. In 1921, it opened a boarding house, which grew throughout the decade. During the Great Depression, the center closed the residence, but services expanded, helping hundreds of women and girls find work.

In the 1940s, the Blue Triangle YWCA began plans to build a new center. A group of women donated this site, and construction began in 1950 on the building designed by noted Houston architects Hiram A. Salisbury and Birdsall P. Briscoe. The architects chose a Transitional style, showing late Art Modern as well as more contemporary elements. The building exhibits a semi-circular entry portico, casement windows and raised brick banding, with a fret pattern used frequently by Briscoe.

The Blue Triangle YWCA was an important part of the lives of the community's women and girls. Several women, including Lilla B. Love and Elizabeth E. Stevens, willed property to the organization in continued support of its mission. The Blue Triangle ended its YWCA affiliation in 1998. Restored and reopened by a community group, the new center offers youth and adult programs, and provides space for other groups.

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  • Uploaded on January 30, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by i_am_jim

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