History: Living, Working, Playing

The YWCA of Western New York was organized in 1870 to seek out and provide for the wants of the poor of the city and to furnish a boarding home for young girls and women. The YWCA of WNY and its members have gone though changes through the decades, and the organization was often ahead of its time. This slideshow illustrates some of our local history.

Courtesy of Western New York Heritage Press, the section below illustrates more of our history.

Living at the YWCA

From its earliest years, the Women’s Christian Association (later renamed the Young Women’s Christian Association) embraced as one of its numerous commitments the provision of safe, temporary housing for young women who came to the city looking for work. In 1889, the organization constructed its first resident home at 10 Niagara Street on Niagara Square…
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180–190 Franklin Street: Then & Now

Millard Fillmore’s first address in Buffalo was 180 Franklin Street, where he lived with his wife Abigail. The Buffalo YWCA constructed its new building at 190 Franklin Street in 1952. It was three-story, 70,000 square feet, and included a swimming pool, gymnasium, weight room, locker rooms, a ballroom with a stage, commercial kitchen, offices, and classrooms…
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Buffalo YWCA Summers

Camp Fortyacres, located in southern Erie County along the shores of Lake Erie, was a summer camp operated by the YWCA from 1921 to 1971, at which time the property was sold and became part of Evangola State Park. Through the years, thousands of youngsters attended the camp, which started offering interracial weekends in 1928…