YMCA No More

          White White-collar men and woman complete with their afternoon coffee speed past each other not even thinking twice about it. They also pass by their entire environment, they don’t stop to notice any of the buildings around them, and of the homeless people begging for money, the only reaction to the construction up the road is that of distaste- as it is an obstacle that wastes more time in their busy days. The building that I came to this downtown Dupont area to stop and really look at is a giant red brick building with a modern look to it. Honestly, it is a little dreary looking, just a sheet of red brick with a few one maybe two level windows along the side. The most interesting part is the corner street entrance at Rhode Island Ave and 17th Nw, It has two sides of windows that go almost all the way to the top of the building, to me making it look very welcoming. Right in the center of one side of the entrances there used to be the Y in red brick, now no more. 

          The YMCA in Downtown DC closed last year because they felt that there was no need to be in the Dupont area anymore. The YMCA’s entire purpose is to bring social services, and a structure, to underserved communities; Dupont is no longer an underserved community. With an increase in property value and the overall development of the area the YMCA found that it did not need to continue its work in the downtown Dupont area. As of now the building is being turned into offices and more apartments. Though it is still being developed on the interior it is still functioning and  many people do seem to work in the building already.  Though the Y was very helpful to the people in this area the development has outgrown what many locals looked at as a “cheap gym”. The people that I saw passing by the building all looked as if they could spend a few extra dollars on a gym membership, and honestly I’m sure the businesses that are going into this building will add more to the area than the Y could.

         The people that I saw were harder to read in this area. There was a mix of casually dressed people, young adults, elderly, wealthy, poor, homeless, blue and white collared, tourist and local. Because there was such a mix of people I believed it just added to the development that this area has gone through. The fact that there would be tourists walking by what used to be the Y means that the area is established and something that people around the world rave about when they talk about DC. The white-collared workers also go to show for the establishment of the area, as we are not that far a walk from the Dwight D. Eisenhower building, or even the White House. The people that I saw were mainly white, which completely goes along with the demographic of the class structure in this city; As most of the wealthier people in DC are white. I’m sure that the area was more diverse and maybe even predominantly black when the YMCA opened their doors to the public in Dupont over 30 years ago. Sadly with the increase in property tax and many other factors most people in the area today are white middle to upper class folk.

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