At the turn of the century the Students’ Christian Association, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Young Men’s Christian Association all flourished and were vigorously supported in the University. As early as 1897 an effort to bring these organizations together had proved unsuccessful.
For many years the Y.M.C.A. had rented Sackett and McMillan Halls, on State Street three blocks north of the campus, from the Presbyterian Church, but with the increasingly large scope of the work in religious education, social service, and missions, a new home for the Y.M.C.A. was badly needed. A site at the southwest corner of State and Washington streets was purchased, and in October, 1911, the Michigan Alumnus announced: “The new building will contain dormitories for 75 to 100 men, offices, reading rooms, and bowling alleys. Shower baths and plunges will be included in the equipment. A large banquet hall will fill a long-felt need of the Association. The structure will be four stories in height.”
About a year later John D. Rockefeller offered to give $60,000 toward the project provided the Association could raise a like sum by October 1, 1915. The Alumnus for October, 1915, announced that alumni and friends had been able to raise the required subscription of $60,000, which was added to Mr. Rockefeller’s gift. Plans for the construction were immediately underway, but were not, however, as ambitious as those first made. Otis and Clark, Chicago architects, were awarded the contract, and Professor John R. Allen of the Engineering College, a member of the Board of Directors of the S.C.A., superintended the erection of the building for the Association. The cornerstone was laid on May 16, 1916.
The new building was named in honor of Judge Victor Lane who served as president of the Y.M.C.A. for many years.
Lane Hall Auditorium and Lounge