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Germantown Women's Y
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5820 Germantown Ave

The childcare center is now accepting applications for new students Our Childcare center is located at 1240 East Chelten Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19138 Phone: 215 927 3170 Fax: 215.927.3179

Our standard board meeting schedule is the 3rd Monday of the month and we are actively seeking new volunteers to become involved in creating a new future for the GWY and the greater Germantown community. We're seeking volunteers to participate in our GWY clean up/revitalization days and sale and we are looking for vendors to submit applications to vend at our revitalization sale (date TBD).


Welcome to our web site!


We are planning to start classes again soon.


Stay tuned in early September a new Saturday youth art class will held at 1240 E. Chelten location, for more information contact us.

Our Childcare center is located at 1240 East Chelten Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19138

Phone: 215 927 3170

The Germantown Women's Y was formed 135 years ago to aid theyoung women coming in from the countryside to work in the mills.

It's first headquarters was in the Louisa May Alcott house, now the home of the Germantown Historical Society. This building was built for us in 1912-16 by Sarah McLean whose husband owned the Bulletin Newspaper. The building that now houses Settlement Music School was our building and the first Y in the nation dedicated to African American women. We all became one organization within this building in the 1920's.

The Germantown Women's Y is the third oldest Women's Y in the world. The theater was the first cafeteria in the nation. The first exhibit of African American art in Philadelphia was held in this building.

We were the first Y to integrate and our pool was the first indoor pool in the nation to give access to African Americans.

King and Abernathy met with the teens in this building in the 1950's to help organize the first two Youth Marches for Integrated Schools.

Our Gym and our tennis courts were the home courts for Ora Mae Washington, the greatest and most famous athlete of the 1920's. She won 12 national tennis championships in a row and played basketball for the Philadelphia Tribune's and the Germantown Hornets, touring the nation and winning against men's teams and women's teams, black and white. We would like to raise the funds needed to restore our gym and name it after Ora Mae Washington.

The Y has programs and studios for Pottery, Painting, Printmaking, Dance, Music and Theater.

We have the third oldest indoor swimming pool in the nation that is heated year round and affordable for the community.

We are redesigning and building a fitness center for women, seniors, the disabled and children who are not always comfortable in traditional gyms. You can help us make our future history. Join the Y and participate in our programs. Teach classes or join classes. Support our efforts in the community.


Our facilities include an full sized indoor pool with showers and changing rooms; a 400 seat dramatic theater,a dance studio, a print shop, a large gymnasium; a arts and crafts studio; a ceramics studio; a darkroom; a lounge and kitchen and a child-care center.

We invite you to visit us or attend an event. Our members are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the organization and how you can join.

Please get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list.

Germantown Women's Y * 5820 Germantown Ave * Philadelphia * PA * 19144 * Voice: 215.927.3170    Fax: 215.927.3179