The Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong was founded in 1901 to serve the city's educational and recreational needs. With the North American branch's support and fundraising among the local business elite, the association purchased a lot on Bridges Street from the government to build their dedicated facility.
Construction began in 1915 with a design by American architects Shattuck and Hussey in the classic colonial revival style. It incorporates Chinese features such as green glazed tiles and memorial archways. Inside, there is an assembly hall, indoor swimming pool, an elevated running track, and dormitories.
The centre officially opened in October 1918, and saw some unique events since then in addition to promoting youth fitness. It held the first collective wedding ceremony in the assembly hall in 1936, promoting the concept of a frugal wedding.
Above the basketball court is an elevated wok-shaped running track, inspired by velodromes with the bowl shape helping to maximize speeds. Fitness equipment are placed at the 4 corners.
Following World War II, the association expanded and moved their headquarters to Kowloon. The Midlevels facility was renamed Bridges Street Centre in 1966.
Read more about their history here.