Miscellaneous Services

Akron Community Service Center

The Akron Community Service Center and Urban League was opened on May 1, 1950 at 250 E Market Street. The building featured classrooms, meeting rooms, a gymnasium, swimming pool and an auditorium was added in the 1960s. This multipurpose building allowed the African American community to benefit greatly from education and recreation. 

The Urban League, who moved there from Perkins Street upon the building’s opening, held many civil rights meetings along with how to build the Black community through child education, adult education, job training, health and wellness, and other services. 

The Service Center was not exclusively for African Americans but was welcoming of all individuals. Dr. Charles S. Johnson, President of Fisk University out of Nashville Tennessee was quoted in the 1951 article of the Akron Beacon Journal saying that, “In the past when such centers have been erected for the Negro, it has been for the purpose of segregation, but here, it has been erected for the purpose of making the Negro a part of the community.”

Notable Akronites to have used the center are NBA Hall of Famers Nate Thurmond and Gus Johnson. 1960s R&B group Ruby and The Romantics performed in the auditorium before fame. 

The Akron Community Service Center was torn down in 2007 and the Urban League relocated to Vernon Odom Boulevard.


“Akron Service Center Lauded.” Akron Beacon Journal. May 1st, 1951.

“Akron Urban League’s longtime former home on East Market receives Ohio Historical Marker.” Akron Beacon Journal. July 3rd, 2015.



Akron Community Service Center. 250 E Market Street

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