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Today's Featured Building: Club at Turtle Bay

Cornelius Vanderbilt II
Today, the Vanderbilt YMCA located at 224 East 47th Street is a full service facility, offering local residents, families, and visitors a wide range of recreational and community services and programs. However, this is quite the contrast from the building's original incarnation when it opened in 1932. Back then, the building was called the Railroad YMCA, and was the fourth in a line of buildings that served as the location for this particular branch of the YMCA.

Originally located in the basement of Grand Central Terminal, the Railway YMCA was opened to house the railway workers that passed through New York City. The popularity of this branch grew so quickly that its membership quickly outgrew this location, as well as two other subsequent buildings before the current building was constructed in 1931 and opened in 1932.

In 1972, the Railroad YMCA was officially named the Vanderbilt YMCA and the building continues to operate to this day. The name change from the Railroad YMCA to the Vanderbilt YMCA was in recognition of the many contributions that the Vanderbilt family had given to both that particular branch of the YMCA, as well as the organization as whole.

When the Railroad YMCA was founded in its original location in the basement of Grand Central Station, it was reported that Cornelius Vanderbilt II would personally led the Sunday morning Bible classes for the railroad workers and their families.[1]

When plans for the Club at Turtle Bay condominium building were proposed in the mid to late 1980s, these plans took into consideration the YMCA as the condo’s would be neighbor, and the project came into being through the purchase of the YMCA’s air rights. As a result, the Club at Turtle Bay not only protrudes over the YMCA, but the YMCA has now expanded into the first five floors of the Club at Turtle Bay, as well as using space in the building’s basement levels.


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Region Buildings Housing Units
New York City, NY 625 103,068
Los Angeles, CA 77 10,247
Vancouver, BC 223 39,498
Chicago, IL 51 14,683

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Jade- With interior design by Jade Jagger, this building introduced Manhattan-ites to pod style living.


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