Restored & Reimagined

Photography provided by YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

The newly reimagined Central Parkway YMCA, located at 1105 Elm Street in downtown Cincinnati, is now open, bringing a fresh wave of service to this beautiful historic building that sits at the gateway to Over-the-Rhine (OTR). The Central Parkway YMCA first opened in 1917 and since then has been an integral community partner for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

“The new facility is so light and bright,” says YMCA of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO Sandy Walker. “At Central, we’ve honored the history while creating a fresh new welcoming atmosphere. We invite all in the community to stop by for a visit.” The open, light-filled, two-story, 15,000-square-foot fitness center has sweeping views of downtown.  

“Personal viewing screens on fitness equipment enable you to catch up on favorite shows or race up and down the hillsides of Italy,” says YMCA Group Vice President Bill Powell. The latest cardio equipment is available and new free-weight equipment welcomes novice and experienced users. A sparkling three-lane saline lap pool invites you to enjoy a water workout and the refurbished historic gym, walking track, and sports courts for racquetball and handball are popular destinations.

On the lower level of the Y, new locker rooms for men and women are fully equipped and feature steam and sauna rooms, swimsuit spinners, backlit LED mirrors, a lounge and TV viewing areas. Free towel service and 60 boutique fitness classes are included with membership.

The Y is all about connecting community in a welcoming atmosphere. The Y Welcome Center offers lots of space for people to share a cup of coffee and a laugh, and there are numerous locations throughout the building designed for relaxation and visits with friends, old and new. “The number one feature of the Y is the people,” says Walker. “The staff is friendly and quick to engage with new members to make them feel like treasured old friends.”

Walker adds that local partnerships were essential to this multi-million dollar renovation. The Y partnered with 3CDC, Episcopal Retirement Services, U.S. Bank, Cincinnati Development Fund, Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority and many other community leaders and donors to make this dream a reality.

While the Central Parkway YMCA health and wellness center and YMCA of Greater Cincinnati association offices occupy the lower levels of the building, the top floors feature 65 senior affordable living apartments operated by Episcopal Retirement Services, in partnership with the Model group.

Everything the Y does is in service of making individuals and communities better. The Central Parkway YMCA is one of 14 branches that are part of the Cincinnati association that also includes an overnight camp and 70 child-care centers. “As a leading nonprofit, the Y works every day to create opportunities through programs and facilities for people of all ages to come together to build their health, confidence and happiness,” says Walker. We are committed to offer programs and services that build community and exceed expectations.” 


For more information on how you can become a member or help the Y better serve the community, call 513.362.YMCA or visit