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Crenshaw Athletic Club

History of Crenshaw Athletic Club

Founded in 1951

Crenshaw Athletic Club's story begins in 1949 when Bill and Bee Crenshaw, a visionary couple passionate about fitness and gymnastics, established it as one of the first private gymnastic studios in the United States. They embarked on this journey with a vision to provide high-quality fitness training to their community. Initially, classes were held in the modest setting of the old University Methodist Church, showcasing the humble origins of what would become a fitness institution. It was here that the first tumbling classes took place, laying the foundation for the excellence that would define the club's future. In 1951, Crenshaw Athletic Club made a significant leap by building and relocating their gym to a dedicated space at 42nd and Burnet Road across from Ramsey Park, setting the stage for decades of growth and excellence.

In 1976, Art and Gil Elsass, recognizing the club's commitment to excellence, purchased Crenshaw Athletic Club. They aimed to continue and expand the tradition of high-quality teaching and fitness. What had initially been a part-time venture for the Crenshaws had now evolved into a full-time endeavor, demonstrating the club's growing significance in the community.In May of 1984, the club made a monumental move to its present location at 5000 Fairview. This transition marked a pivotal moment in Crenshaw Athletic Club's history, as it became one of the most prestigious gymnastics facilities in the country, solidifying its reputation as a leader in fitness and wellness.

Building our Current Location

Under the leadership of Art and Gil Elsass, Crenshaw Athletic Club diversified its offerings to cater to various aspects of fitness and wellness. Today, it proudly provides a comprehensive suite of programs, including Gymnastics, Swimming, Preschool Education, After School Care, Birthday Parties, and an Adult Fitness Center. Crenshaw Athletic Club has consistently been at the forefront of innovative fitness programs. Notably, they introduced the pioneering Palaestra program, a unique blend of academics and athletics designed for preschoolers. Furthermore, in 1984, when the new facility was built, the club decided to expand into adult fitness, demonstrating a forward-thinking approach to health and wellness.

Original Crenshaw Logo

XV Olympia Helsinki - 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland 3 Meter Springboard Diving

"Skippy" Browning

Prior to the 1952 Olympics, "Skippy" Browning came to the University of Texas to complete his final training. While here, a lasting friendship developed with the Crenshaws. He worked many hours with Dr. Crenshaw perfecting his diving skills through the use of the trampoline. Before graduating, "Skippy" taught with the Crenshaws. In 1952 "Skippy" won the Gold Medal on the 3 meter board in what was considered to be one of the finest performances ever witnessed. This award inspired the Crenshaw Athletic Club logo. The tradition of excellence that began with Skippy's achievement is being continued by the club's present owners.


Crenshaw Athletic Club is now known for its state-of-the-art facilities, which include a fully equipped 12,000 square-foot Gymnasium, an Indoor Heated Pool, Spa, Steam Sauna, Assorted Classrooms, a Fully Equipped Weight Room, and an Indoor Running Track. The club's dedication to offering a complete wellness experience is reflected in these amenities.

Crenshaw Athletic Club stands as a testament to the enduring commitment of the vision of Elsass family. It continues to inspire individuals of all ages and fitness levels to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. With a rich history spanning over seven decades, it remains a prominent fitness and wellness institution in Austin, Texas.

Crenshaw truly is "A Full Family Fitness Center."