This past month, D Magazine released their 2019 “Best of Big D” issue featuring legendary Mavs basketball player Dirk Nowitzki on the front cover. With the YMCA inventing the game of basketball, it is only fitting that their “Best Gym” award was given to T. Boone Pickens YMCA located in downtown Dallas. D Magazine raved about T. Boone Pickens checking all the boxes needed for a successful gym as well as their “ridiculously friendly staff”.  

From their early beginnings in 1885 where the first YMCA began on East Elm Street, the downtown Y has relocated six times before arriving to their current location in 1982. In 2009, the downtown YMCA was thrilled to receive a five-million-dollar donation to provide much-needed renovations to its facility. In honor of the donor, the branch was renamed to what it is still known as today as the T. Boone Pickens YMCA.   

Today, T. Boone Pickens serves a diverse member population from children to baby boomers.  Reflecting on the growth that downtown Dallas is currently experiencing, its member base has doubled since 2015. In order to provide for their community, T. Boone Pickens offers state-of-the-art amenities, over 70 group exercise classes, adult basketballs leagues, racquetball, handball and squash courts, as well as an eight-lane indoor heated pool. 

On top of the day to day amenities, T. Boone Pickens also reaches out to the larger Dallas community that might not walk through their building doors every day. On Thanksgiving morning, over 25,000 people participate in the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, which is the largest paid Y event in the world. T. Boone Pickens also serves several at-risk apartment complexes to provide water safety instructions and lessons to over 1,200 children. Giselle Patterson, the first woman and immigrant to serve as Executive Director of the T. Boone Pickens Y, and her staff are consistently reminded that their Y goes beyond their building’s walls and strives to provide youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility throughout the entire Dallas community.  

It is an extreme honor for T. Boone Pickens to be recognized in D Magazine as the “Best Gym” in Dallas. However, this award would not have been possible without the passionate staff and community that surrounds T. Boone Pickens. The inclusive and welcoming environment has been shaped by the community and T. Boone Pickens is the best gym in Dallas because of them!  

Authored by: cmccauley