Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    We see you appreciate a good vintage. But there comes a time to try something new. Click here to head over to the redesigned It's where you'll find all of our latest work. And plenty of the good ol' stuff, too, looking better than ever.


    Print this page

    Photo by Jessica Ebelhar

    Not long after coming to town about three years ago, Freddie Brown began hearing skepticism about the west Louisville YMCA, which had been in the planning phase for a decade. “People would say, ‘Is it really gonna happen? Because I don’t think it’s gonna happen,’” the 48-year-old says. “You know, a planned Walmart and FoodPort had fallen through in west Louisville. People said, ‘Is there going to be any kind of investment here? Money’s going everywhere else but here.’”

    Brown had worked for the YMCA for about two decades before moving here from Lexington to become executive director of the Y on West Chestnut Street. And by mid-2019, he’ll also be in charge at a $28-million, 77,000-square-foot Y on West Broadway between 17th and 18th streets, where a tobacco warehouse once stood. In mid-February, construction crews were preparing to start work on the foundation of what will officially be called the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA. In addition to a swimming pool (with slide!), indoor track, gymnasium and fitness center, the new Y will also house a Norton Healthcare clinic, Republic Bank & Trust (which will offer financial-literacy classes), ProRehab Physical Therapy and Family and Children’s Place. “What we call an ‘integrated-health model,’” Brown says. “One challenge early on will be making sure folks don’t think, ‘Well, that’s not for me,’ because they’re not used to something new and shiny.

    “When we say the Y is for all, we mean regardless of your ability to pay, what you believe, what your religion is, what you look like, what your physical abilities are,” Brown continues. “It would have been easier to build a Y where you know people can pay, but we’re committed to west Louisville.”

    Although Brown won’t begin his dual-director role for another year and a half or so, he’s already looking 10, 15 years into the future. “I’d love to see people go down Broadway and see a thriving city that doesn’t stop when you get to a certain point,” Brown says. “People are hopeful that this will be a driver of more investment.”

    This originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine. Every story in our March issue is about west Louisville, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Click here to read more from part four of our series on the West End.

    To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Share On:

    Most Read Stories