The Old YMCA on Broad Street has been saved

Published 7:34 pm Monday, July 22, 2013

It is up to code. Finally, the fear of a historic treasure falling into whatever lies beneath Broad Street can cease for now. The oldest YMCA in the southeast — the Old YMCA building — is one step closer to housing people, business and showing off more history our town has to offer.

Thanks to the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, the group has funneled funding into the place, saving it from toppling over into splinters on Broad Street.

If it were any other building in town that were in that poor of shape, we suspect it would have been demolished, its bricks and wiring sold off piece by piece in a scrap yard. But because of its historical significance, and because of the determination of the Historic Preservation Society, we still have the building with us today that housed the first dry cleaning service in Selma as well as a popular diner — The Selma Del. The mansard roof, yes, is gone but after this stint of hope of stabilization — we hope its not gone forever.

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Realtors in town who have renovated and flipped old buildings into rental lofts and flats claim they have waiting lists miles long. The old YMCA being used for this same idea and generating foot traffic and a residential feel to downtown will surely help save the old building and all of the ones around it.

All residents should look a Historic Preservation Society member in the eye, hug them and tell them thank you. At each council meeting when its members spoke on the progress of the building, it seemed disheartening because of the insane costs for things like removing asbestos from the building and reworking the structure so it would not fall in.

Where would Selma be without these impassioned souls who realize the value of history trapped inside buildings that are falling down, just waiting to be renovated and used to brighten the city?