The East Chicago Boys’ Club was the third unit added to the Steel City Boys’ Clubs. In 1973, due in large part to the efforts of Lowell Robertson – founder of the East Chicago Katherine House, the East Chicago Boys Club and the Katherine House merged to form the East Chicago Katherine House Boys & Girls Club. As a condition of the merger, girls were accepted as Club members. Upon completion of the merger, the Club moved into the then 52 year old Katherine House building located at 3801 Deodar Street in East Chicago’s harbor area. The Katherine House, as it was known, had a rich history in East Chicago. Baptist Church members built it in 1919 as a youth center.
After operating Club programs in the Katherine House for 15 years, Joe Lehr who was Executive Director at the time kicked off a capital campaign in 1988 to build a new and much needed facility. Mayor Robert Pastrick and William Riley were named Honorary Co-Chairs of the campaign, and a dream team campaign committee was formed including James Knight, Dr. Sandra Martinez, George Weems, and Judge Del Marae Williams. Due to their efforts, a new East Chicago Katherine House Boys & Girls Club was built and opened its doors in 1991. Today, the Club stands at 2009 East 138th Street – directly across the street from the old Katherine House, which is now 83 years old.