This handsome facility had a humble beginning during the dark years of World War II when an army barracks building was moved to a vacant lot on Wall Avenue for use by African-American serviceman as a USO Center. At the end of the war it was pressed into use by Ogden City as a Recreation Center for the youth of the area. It served well in this capacity until 1964 when it became necessary to condemn and demolish it because of its deteriorated condition.
The City Council and interested citizens of the area recognized the need to replace the rapidly deteriorating building and in 1962 began an active search to find a replacement and the finances required. No satisfactory existing building could be found, and in June 1963, a small area (later to become the first part of the Marshall White Center) way purchased and architect hired to prepare the plans for a recreation building. The plans were completed but before bids could be obtained, events occurred which changed the entire concept of the center.
Congress enacted legislation to provide federals grants to assist cities in the development of Neighbor Facilities Center, which provide greatly needed Social Services to target areas. Application was made in February, 1966, for a Federal grant and preliminary plans were drawn for a building which would serve both recreation and social needs. Addition of a Day Care Center later required filing an amended application to cover the increased cost.
To cover the City's share of the cost, a successful bond election was held on July 12, 1966. Bids were called for in August 1967, and an impressive and long-awaited ground breaking ceremony was held on September 7, 1967. Construction of the building required about one-year and the dedication service was held on October 18, 1968.