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The History

HISTORY

The Upper Main Line YMCA

  • Address: 1416 Berwyn-Paoli Road, P. O. Box 637, Berwyn, PA 19312-0637
  • Phone: (610) 647-9622
  • The seed that grew to become the Upper Main Line YMCA was planted during a bridge game in 1960, as neighbors discussed the need for a community center. The seed sprouted in May of 1962, when money was raised to begin the YMCA. For the first 1-1/2 years, the YMCA's home was a small house in Berwyn.

    The YMCA's present 54 acre site has rich history. The Cassatt Mansion was built by J. Gardner Cassatt in 1907. The architects were Cope and Stewardson of Philadelphia, and the 34 room mansion was built in the French Renaissance style. It was occupied by the family in 1908. The Cassatt family were part-owners of the Pennsylvania railroad. Their cousin, Mary Cassatt, was the famous French Impressionist style painter. In 1953, the Cassatt family sold the Estate. It served as the Daylesford Priory of the Norbertine Fathers until it was purchased by the YMCA in 1964.

    The first facilities built on this site in 1965 were four outdoor tennis courts, an outdoor lap pool, and a baby pool. In the years that followed, additional outdoor tennis courts and pools were built. In 1971, one outdoor pool was enclosed and the Health Center, exercise room, and locker rooms were constructed. The YMCA acquired the Great Valley site on Howellville Road in Berwyn in 1974. In the same year, the second indoor pool, the gymnasium, handball and squash courts, and more locker rooms were built. Four indoor tennis courts were complted in 1977, and the above ground 50 meter pool was built in 1978. Fall of 1984 marked the completion of the CAM II Fitness Center and Men's & Women's Plus Centers.