Build a Firm Foundation.
Our First Building Cost $14,000
In 1881, YMCA Honolulu volunteer board members foresaw the need for a permanent building and spearheaded the first capital campaign. Through their efforts, the Y purchased a property on the corner of Hotel and Alakea Streets for $4,000 and raised additional funds for construction. On April 21, 1883, the first YMCA Honolulu building was dedicated with King David Kalakaua and 300 dignitaries in attendance.
Red Brick Beauty
YMCA Honolulu’s first building was striking in contrast to the wooden structures and dirt roads of the time. Made of red brick, it stood two stories tall and 67 feet wide. It was the first time the YMCA had a full-time director. In the 1900s, lunch service was started. At just 20¢ a meal or $1 a week, members no longer had to frequent the saloons for a cheap lunch.
From the beginning, visionary donors have enabled the YMCA to evolve. Our first lifetime members were people who donated $250 or more—roughly $6,250 in today’s dollars—to our first building fund.