|| Erected in 1941 on land loaned by the Pierce Estate to serve both local citizens and World War ll military personnel at Camp Hulen in nearby Palacios, this is one of 16 United Service Organization (U.S.O.) facilities built that year in Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma. A coordinating council was formed that year to create a community center; Bay City citizens and businesses generously contributed to the U.S.O. project. Dedicated in 1942, the center hosted groups such as the Women's Auxiliary and Girls Service Organization. Records showed 11,289 civilians served as leaders and program assistants; programs were attended by 150,230 service personnel and 222,509 civilians.
The facility was operated by the Y.M.C.A. and a local committee under the auspices of the U.S.O., which terminated its operations in 1945. The property on the north side of the block and the building were deeded to Bay City Post No. 11, the American Legion that year. Post No. 11 initiated long-term leases with the city of Bay City to maintain the building and continue its operation as a community center of the five Gulf Coast U.S.O buildings constructed early in the war, this is the only one left standing. A meeting place and city center, the building continues to be an active and vital part of the community.
Constructed according to standardized plans and finished in a brick veneer through the generosity of the Bay City Gas Company, the buff brick building features a u-plan wing housing meeting rooms, a refreshment area, locker room, darkroom and a large auditorium. The building reflects the influences of the international style with banded windows, industrial sash, cantilevered overhangs and a flat roof of articulated massing.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark -1999