200 South Sixth Street, Terre Haute
Can We Help the Y Get Back in Shape?
Emerging from the Great Depression, Terre Haute’s new YMCA provided a civic boost when it opened in 1939. The state-of-the-art facility had a gymnasium, dormitory, meeting and classrooms, racquetball courts, exercise rooms, and a pool with a sauna and steam rooms.
Vacant and privately owned since the Y moved to Fairbanks Park in 2006, the Spanish Revival-style building has broken windows and other evidence of vandalism. Last year, lightning struck the chimney, showering a cascade of brick on the roof, courtyard, and sidewalk.
Architects Miller & Yeager designed the building with a tower-like chimney, low-pitched roof, arched doors with carving, ornamental tile and ironwork, and an interior courtyard open to the weather. In the lobby and flanking meeting rooms, ceiling beams, stenciling, and the carved stone fireplace surround show the Spanish Revival influence. Many of Miller & Yeager’s buildings in Terre Haute and elsewhere have since been listed in the National Register.
“The downtown Y played an important social and athletic role in the lives of thousands of Terre Hauteans across more than three generations. The landmark needs a new owner who will rehab and repurpose it. That’s the goal of our 10 Most listing,” says Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office, located in a Miller & Yeager-designed former bank in downtown Terre Haute.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.