Boathouse Row - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 58.183 W 075° 11.281
18S E 483943 N 4424413
Quick Description: Boathouse row is one of the many attractions of the East River Drive/Art Museum area. The NRHP site and National Landmark encompass 15 properties on East River Drive (now Kelly Drive) on the Schuylkill River.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 8/12/2013 2:21:01 AM
Waymark Code: WMHT80
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 1

Long Description:

Beyond, on the right, is BOATHOUSE ROW (31), home of the Schuylkill Navy.

From the rivers, lakes, and canals of Europe and Canada; from al- most every watercourse in America, brawny oarsmen have come to test the mettle of the Schuylkill's sons. During the last eight decades many symbols of international supremacy have graced the cup- room of one or another of these sturdy clubhouses.

leven rowing clubs, the Philadelphia Canoe Club, and the Phila- delphia Skating Club are housed in as many vine-covered buildings. Built during the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, these structures of wood, stone, stucco, and brick against a back- ground of old shrubbery represent the varying tastes of that period.

--- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940; page 558

Boathouse Row is a historic site located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, just north of the Fairmount Water Works and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It consists of a row of 15 boathouses housing social and rowing clubs and their racing shells. Each of the boathouses has its own history, and all have addresses on both Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive (named after famous Philadelphia oarsman John B. Kelly, Jr.).

Boathouses #2 through #14 are part of a group known as the Schuylkill Navy, which encompasses several other boathouses along the river. Boathouse #1 is Lloyd Hall and is the only public boathouse facility on the Row. Boathouse #15 houses the Sedgeley Club, which operates the Turtle Rock Lighthouse. The boathouses are all at least a century old, and some were built over 150 years ago.

I was fascinated by the lighthouse, the only one in Philadelphia. The Turtle Rock Light is a lighthouse completed in the summer 1887 and was originally built to guide steamboats down the Schuylkill River. Ideas for a lighthouse to provide safety for river users appeared in meeting minutes dating back to the 1820s. It wasn't until the early 1880s was a formal request made for a lighthouse at Turtle Rock. It was listed as necessary, but not urgent, and therefore delayed until 1887. The lighthouse was constructed by Frank Thurwanger at a cost of $2,663 on an area of land just west of Boathouse Row. The lighthouse has a hexagonal lantern room with an octagonal walkway. Gas was first used to power the light, but in 1990, when the lighthouse was repainted and received a new wooden balustrade and newel posts, the beacon was electrified. SOURCE It is my understanding the home owners may actually own the light. The land on which the structures of Boat House Row rest is owned by the Fairmount park Commission, a municipal agency. The individual boathouses are under private club ownership. 1982 NRHP Nomination form for Boat House Row

I decided to really investigate and explore this site. It took me a few hours as I also had to see every statue as well; this is a remarkable area. The biggest complaint or concern were the number of bicyclists and joggers on the Schuylkill River Trail. It made walking very dangerous. The clubs were nice and friendly and no problem with me walking about the grounds. Before today, I gawked at the Row from the Art Museum, the Water Works or while driving on the Schuylkill Expressway. It was interesting to get the front yard perspective. These home are really old! The homes cover a range of architecture types such as Late 19th- and 20th-century Revivals, Late Victorian and some Gothic mixed in too. Surprisingly, parking was a breeze and available out front or just down the road a piece in a two-hour parking lot. I stayed for 2 hours 5 minutes and was rewarded with a $26 parking tickted..totally worth it!A really decent history can be found HERE.

Book: Philadelphia

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 558

Year Originally Published: 1940

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mars888 visited Boathouse Row - Philadelphia, PA 8/20/2013 mars888 visited it