When the M. Robinson Baker YMCA opened in 1926 it was known as the the Market Street YMCA. 3 Later it was called the Northwest Oakland YMCA; the 1951 Sanborn shows it as North Oakland YMCA.
c.1939, M. Robinson Baker was acting executive director. 2 He had to take a step back for health reasons, and Joshua Rose then ran the branch. Later, M. Robinson Baker was on the board of the branch YMCA, and then the central YMCA. 1 Read more about Joshua Rose and listen to an interview with his daughter on the Black Liberation Walking Tour. 4
Lionel Wilson was involved in the "lay leadership" of the YMCA. 1
c.1969, George Killingsworth became the executive director.
When its building was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; the community rallied to its aid. MRB reopened in 1996. The 15,000-square foot MRB facility provides place-based services to the community with a gymnasium, outdoor gardening area, classrooms and computer lab.
The YMCA was closed again in [ ? ]. It reopened in January of 2023 and now operates as an Early Childhood Learning Center under the leadership of center director Lovette Trammel.
There were several murals at the YMCA. One of them featured Oakland scenes including the lake, graduates, current issues like eviction, and the Y itself.
Links and References
Interview with M. Robinson Baker, Oakland Y.M.C.A. director by Ruth Beckford, 1972, AALMO -- Ruth Beckford Papers
Northwest Branch YMCA Black Liberation Walking Tour
North Oakland 'Y' wants to unlock its doors Oakland Tribune December 28, 1994