Known Name(s)



23 Wells Ave NW Roanoke, VA

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The YMCA site is now a parking lot for the First Baptist Church. The 1955 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map indicates that 23 Wells Avenue was a two-story frame "club" with a noncombustible roof and a one-story front porch on the eastern half of the front of the building.

Detailed History

This was the first African-American YMCA in Roanoke. It opened in 1928 in a house on Wells Avenue, across the street from the First Baptist Church. It was called the William A. Hunton YMCA, named after the first Black Y director in the United States. The first director of the Hunton YMCA was L.A. Lee. Through the years the Hunton Y was renamed the YMCA Family Center, then the YMCA Express at Gainsboro.

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