Our History


May 9, 1968 - a converted house on Johnson Street made available by the Village of Palatine opens its doors as the Countryside YMCA and boasts 850 members. Herman M. Hertog serves as the Y’s first executive director.  The new Y relies on community partnerships and renting space in local schools, church and other civic organizations to provide its programs and services.

1970 - the Countryside YMCA board of directors approves a $60,000 purchase for 10 acres of land on Northwest Highway to construct a new YMCA.

1971 - A.C. Buehler and family announce a $750,000 contribution towards the construction of the new YMCA.

1972 - the Y’s membership stands at 1,500 members. Lew Draper, land owner and developer, decides to donate the 10 acres of land to the YMCA.

April 1973 - the name of the Countryside YMCA changes to the Buehler YMCA in memory of A.C. Buehler.

September 9, 1973 - the new Buehler YMCA is dedicated. Annual membership costs: $75 for families; $45 for adults; and $30 for youth.  The $2.6 million building includes a 151,000-gallon pool, a multi-purpose room capable of seating 250 people, men’s and women’s fitness centers featuring steam, saunas, message, whirlpool, and exercise rooms.

1979 - the Buehler YMCA adds five handball and racquetball courts, three weight training and exercise rooms, four outdoor tennis courts, and expanded locker rooms.

October 20, 1984 - thanks to a $500,000 capital gift, the new, 20,000-square-foot, Square D Sports Center is dedicated and houses a Nautilus center, an elevated 1/10-mile running track with warm-up area, and three gymnasiums.  Chicago Cubs catcher Randy Hundley takes the first lap around the new track.

1984 - Wendell Jones, later Illinois State Senator, becomes executive director of the Buehler YMCA. The Y has more than 10,000 members.

2002 - the Y expands again to include a 30,000-square-foot wellness center with more than 250 pieces of exercise and fitness equipment, a family adventure center with play maze, climbing wall, and high ropes course. The center also retrofits existing areas to meet ADA requirements. Additionally, the café area expands to give members and program participants the chance to relax and enjoy friendships made at the YMCA.

Today - Almost 40 years have passed since the Y became a vital part of this community and yet we still rely on partnerships to deliver our mission to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. We thank each and every one of you that have helped us touch countless lives with our programs and services. The Buehler YMCA is proud to serve more than 18,000 members, provide more than 2,000 programs annually, and employ more than 350 staff.