Carondelet Park Rec Complex History
In 2006 a 1/8 sales tax increase was passed by St. Louis City voters to construct two family recreational facilities within the City of St. Louis. Construction began on the southside project in 2008. The YMCA of Greater St. Louis was chosen as the facility operator. On November 19, 2009, the Carondelet Park Rec Complex opened its doors for the first time to welcome the Carondelet community into the 76,000 square foot facility. The facility was built by and is owned by the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and is operated by the YMCA of Greater St. Louis.
In May of 2010, the Carondelet Park Rec Complex opened the gates to the new outdoor waterpark, the only waterpark in the St. Louis city limits. On May 27, 2010, Mayor Francis Slay, local aldermen and the YMCA of Greater St. Louis held a ceremonial ribbon cutting and welcomed the first swimmers into the pool. The pool opened to the public on May 29, 2010.
Carondelet Family YMCA History
Designed for the Carondelet Community
In January, 1919, Theodore Pletcher and his friends set out to establish a YMCA for the Carondelet Community. Their concern was in being able to provide a program that would assist the soldiers returning home from war by setting up assistance for employment and recreation while helping the younger generation with organized Christian activities. By May, 1919, over $5,000 was raised to rent a storefront building on Michigan Avenue and hire one employee. In 1922, having outgrown their small storefront, the Carondelet YMCA moved to a small two story house with a yard across the street from the Carondelet Public Library. In 1924, the Businessmen of Carondelet, began to raise money for their own building. With the financial backing of Mattie Johnston (Johnston Tin Foil Factory) as well as Thomas Mellow (Liberty Foundry), over $80,000 was raised in the small community toward the new building.
In September 1925, the groundbreaking ceremony was held and the cornerstone was laid in November of that same year. The Grand Opening of the Carondelet YMCA/YWCA was held in June 1926. The building held an indoor pool, gymnasium, men’s library, boys’ game area, bowling alley, catering kitchen, and women’s lounge (for YWCA usage one day per week). The unique architecture of this building was centered around the request of the main benefactor, Mattie Johnston, to have it match the Flemish Rennaisance Design of the Blow School next door. The sister Y, Carondelet YWCA, moved from the building in 1952 after family memberships were offered for YMCA members. Since 1919, the Carondelet YMCA has been able to provide for services to meet the needs of its community and continues to provide that service.
On November 19, 2009, the Carondelet Family YMCA staff and members moved to their new home at 930 Holly Hills in beautiful Carondelet Park. By doing so, the Carondelet YMCA was able to expand its programs and continue to provide for the needs of the community on a much larger scale. The Historic Carondelet building at 600 Loughborough continues to provide space for YMCA offices and services.