In 1928, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) of Dallas recognized a growing need for expanded facilities across the city. In the African American neighborhood of North Dallas, citizens raised $75,000 ($25,000 more than their goal) in contributions for a planned YMCA on Flora Street. The Rosenwald Fund, a national trust for construction of educational facilities, teacher housing, and YMCAs for African Americans in the southern United States, provided an additional $25,000. The Moorland YMCA was named for Dr. Rev. Jesse Edward Moorland, the second secretary of the Colored Men's Department of the YMCA in Washington, D.C. Architects Ralph Bryan and Walter Sharp of Dallas designed the three-story red brick building in Italian Renaissance Revival style. Completed in 1930, its design included cast stone features and the words "boys" and "men" inscribed over the two main entrances.
Through the 1950s, the Moorland YMCA was a social, cultural, and political center for Dallas' African American community. It offered recreation and education programs for youth and served as a gymnasium for local schools. The facilities were one of the only places African American Dallasites could congregate outside of the church. Moorland YMCA was an integral meeting place for those involved in the Civil Rights Movement in Dallas. The building also provided sleeping rooms for African American visitors who found limited hotel facilities when visiting the city. By 1967, Moorland YMCA could no longer accommodate the demand of its members and it closed in 1970 after the construction of a new YMCA in Oak Cliff. A new Moorland YMCA opened on Ledbetter Street in 1973. In 1999, Dallas Black Dance Theatre became the owner of this historic property.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2011
Marker is property of the State of Texas