The YMCA, created in 1844, fosters the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of young people. Present in 124 countries, this secular association is open to all. The Paris YMCA, founded in 1852, was inspired by models of American YMCA buildings. Inaugurated in 1893, the complex brings together for the first time in France in one place: gymnasium, restaurant, bowling alley, swimming pool, reception rooms, conference room, concert hall and theater, library, billiards, hostel and creamery. The gymnasium is of major heritage interest. The first basketball game in Europe was held there in 1893. The Paris YMCA is today the oldest basketball court in its original state and is thus a jewel of the world’s sporting heritage.
This major site for the history of sports and Franco-American relations will be massively restored by 2024 just before the opening of the Summer Olympics in Paris. This restoration is much needed to enhance the site and its facilities and bring them up to code to allow the Paris YMCA to better fulfil its mission: to provide lodging and meals for students and young male workers between the ages of 18 to 25 at some of the lowest prices in the city, allowing many from other parts of France and abroad to transition into Parisian life and opening their facilities, especially the theater, and spaces for performances, to local cultural associations in addition to their own programming, thus enriching cultural and community life. The sports facilities also benefit residents and the local community.