Daily Demolition Report: Y Willia

The old Masterson YWCA off Waugh meets a moldy end; plus other scheduled departures:


Community Structures


Photo of former Masterson Branch YWCA, 3615 Willia St.: Taft Architects

13 Comment

  • It’s been shut down for a long time. There a backhoe at the YWCA site yesterday. Good riddens.

  • I had no idea it was shut down. This is kind of tragic, in my view–that building was a pioneering piece of post-modern architecture. I guess given what has happened to it in the past decade, this was inevitable. I’ve always loved this building driving by, but wasn’t aware the state it had degraded to. Here’s what the Chronicle wrote in 2005: “It’s another tragedy in a town beset by architectural indifference. Designed by Taft Architects and built in 1982, the Masterson YWCA was an early icon in the Post-modern movement. The building won a national Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects — a big deal for a small building.

    The long hall of a structure exhibited a large presence in little space, and its clever indoor-to-outdoor pool, with giant glass garage doors opening onto an adjacent park, was one of the city’s best places to swim. The building’s front was a classically inspired billboard of repeated arches and a blue tile grid, while the more functional back seemed to come apart into large modern boxes separated by alleylike slots.

    And come apart it has. Visiting on the building’s last day of operation, I was dismayed to see how the past 23 years had treated it. I’d heard that high maintenance costs led the Masterson Y to close its doors, and the work the building needed was clearly visible.[…]This was a building exhibiting rapid decay.”

  • Some other Taft po-mo’s of this era are looking bad, too — exterior stucco getting moldy, stains around window frames etc. Let’s hope the schools they’ve been designing more recently will hold up longer.

  • I always thought it could be converted into a cool home with an AWESOME pool–I loved those glass garage doors!

  • Does the Y still own the property? If so, are there plans to sell? It’s definitely a prime piece of land.

  • The building might have stood a chance in Arizona or Nevada, I don’t care how cool it looked, it was not designed for our climate or the heavy use of a Y. Chlorine will eat anything, especially damp stucco.

  • Loved (the late) Bob Timme, but this building was always bad.

  • Back in their day, Taft had students detailing and doing the CD’s, so it’s not a surprise many of their buildings from the 80’s heaven’t held up well.

  • its in bad shape, yes. but that building is absolutely amazing. I wish there was a rule stating that the next building has to be worthy of replacing its location predecessor.

  • Anyone have any idea what’s going to go in this space after the demolition?

  • Hopefully something with bathrooms. Spotts Park is pretty active and a great place for the weekend. Anything to help support it would be nice.

  • I used to work for PageSoutherlandPage and they won the design competition for the new YMCA Waugh building a few years ago (the same time Kirksey won the Tellepsen downtown YMCA). When I left last year, the project was still on hold — not sure what the status is anymore. And I live just down Waugh so I would love to see a new YMCA facility there!

  • Tear that raggely ass thing down, and build something more derable to withstand our climate that won’t have maintenance problems.