Veteran's Memorial Branch YMCA

In 1946, leaders from Arlington's African American community initiated fundraising for the Veteran's Memorial Branch YMCA. Completed in 1953, this branch, led by lifelong activist Edmond C. Fleet (1902-1983), a civilian pastry chef for the United States Navy, played a crucial role in organizing social and recreational activities for Arlington's African American youth. During an era of racial segregation in recreational facilities, the YMCA and its sponsored facilities adhered to these lines. A community room within the building hosted dances and movie screenings for neighborhood youth, as remembered by a YMCA patron from that period.