Originally a YMCA, this 1926 example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, designed by noted architect Paul R. Williams, provided the African American community recreational space and accommodations. Restoration and expansion re-established the building’s role as a community landmark. Its design uses inventive strategies to leverage utility into amenity, and offers an unexpected approach to heritage.
Restoring the exterior and key historic features and enlarging housing units necessitated a new residential wing. Inventive integration of new building systems released the existing rooftop for use as a garden and social space, which links old and new. The thin, cross-ventilated addition is shaded to the south by a vertical photovoltaic array and wrapped to the north with perforated metal screens that feather at the corners to frame views of the city.