National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County
The YWCA was the first social service agency in the City of Oakland, founded in 1877 by a group of women from the community's local churches who banded together calling themselves The Ladies Evangelical Philanthropic Society. Their purpose was "to gather children together to teach them helpful things. To visit jails and hold prayer and Bible readings with the women."
The Oakland YWCA building was the first of seventeen YWCAs designed by Julia Morgan. The building, in its adaptation of Renaissance architectural forms, is an excellent example of Morgan's designs for women's organizations.
Source: Excerpted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1984.