Boston Union Gym
Founded in 1851, Union is an unpretentious and minimally-defined space that is at once a 501c3 nonprofit, a commissioned historical landmark by the City of Boston, and the oldest gym in the country.
Our mission in the City of Boston is to furnish a democratic, world-class athletic facility that exemplifies a quality of mind and character, and a freedom from pretense, worthy of the extraordinary talents that residents bring to us, whatever their financial means. And it is to ensure that the burden of excessive costs does not deter youth from pursuing physical activities reflecting their highest aspirations.
Our vision was best put by John F. Kennedy, a lifelong Union supporter: “We do know that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound bodies.” To all who know Union, the relevance is clear: our vision entails the belief that physical fitness is the basis not only of a healthy body, but of the cognitive life as well.
Simply put, our core idea is that strength is a measure of character, one whose aims and contours represent the diversity, vibrancy, and near-horizonless potential of our community, and the full composition of our City.