In 1919, Theodore Pletcher, an employee of Liberty Foundry, gathered influential men of Carondelet and together they worked to raise funds to start a YMCA in their Community. By June 12, 1919, over $5,000 have been raised and a small storefront was rented on Michigan Avenue. The YMCA grew fairly fast they moved into a second building (a residence) across the street from the Carondelet Library. In 1924, the Carondelet YMCA joined with the St Louis YMCA in a Capital Campaign. In May 1924, the Carondelet Community had pledged over $85,000 towards a new building. The building was designed by the architect firm of Study and Farrar. On September 25, 1925, the groundbreaking was held for the new building. The building (now called Historic Carondelet) was officially held on June 27, 1926. During the depression, programs were available for unemployed citizens. Carondelet YMCA was the first of the St Louis YMCAs to hold blood drives during World War II. They also provided free membership to Military as well as Dances sponsored jointly by the Carondelet YMCA and the Carondelet YWCA. By 1961, the Carondelet YMCA had the largest membership in the St Louis YMCAs since it was serving over 13,000 members in the small building and it was agreed to find a location in South County. By 1962, the South County branch of Carondelet YMCA was started. In 1979, the Carondelet Y’s Men started a Book Fair in order to provide funds for the YMCA. This Book Fair continues today and is the largest fundraiser in the Gateway Region.
Following an agreement with the City of St Louis, the Carondelet Family YMCA closed its doors on November 15, 2009, and held the official grand opening of the Carondelet Park Rec Complex on November 19, 2009, following a parade from the old building to the new building. The older building (called “Historic Carondelet”) became the Community Development YMCA and provides services in the Gateway YMCA Region. The Carondelet Park Rec Complex continues to provide exceptional programs to City and County Residents.