BLACK CITY HALL OF ATLANTA
The Butler Street YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia, has another name: “Black City Hall of Atlanta.”
In the Sweet Auburn historic district of Atlanta, the Butler Street YMCA, patiently sits, holding great history, and waiting for the next chapter. After losing its charter in 2012, the historic Butler YMCA closed. The Atlanta fire inspector deemed the building unsafe, but the local community is hopeful that it will be saved and renovated.
It was the gymnasium of this YMCA where a young Martin Luther King Jr. learned to play basketball and other great figures such as the Hungry Club Forum of Atlanta met. This YMCA was home to Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor, when he first moved to the city. The YMCA of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood became the epicenter of brilliant minds and new movements for Atlanta, but was also a home for the homeless, and a place to play basketball.
When Andrew Young was asked to comment of the closure of Bulter street YMCA, he said, “I’m not attached to buildings. I’m attached to movements and the movement continues and the ideals of that building continue.”
* * *