In 1843, the first collegiate crew organization in the United States was created by a group of Yale students, and competitive rowing soon became a fundamental part of New Haven’s culture.
The George Adee boathouse was built for the varsity Yale crew team in 1911. It was located along the Long Wharf side of New Haven Harbor. It was used until 1923, and members of the 1924 Olympic Gold Medal winning 8-man team practiced out of this boathouse. The boathouse was sold, renovated and eventually demolished in 2007.
Now a blank patch of beachfront lies in its place. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the city began evaluating construction bids for the new platform of a new boathouse in the harbor. This boathouse with be called the Canal Dock Boathouse, and it aims to reconnect New Haven residents with their once flourishing and bustling waterfront.
“We’re such a lucky community to have this kind of a facility,” said Donna Hall, the project manager employed by the city. “We’ve been trying to have some kind of a destination at our waterfront for years and years and years.”
The boathouse will be a landmark commemorating its history, and welcoming the future. It will have a museum incorporating some of the original structures from the George Adee boathouse. In addition, it will have available spaces to kayak, canoe, sail and row.
The new boathouse will also be at the disposal of the University of New Haven’s marine science program. UNH’s marine biology students may specialize in areas such as coastal resource management, marine biotechnology, marine pollution, aquaculture, marine organisms and urban estuarine studies. This additional resource will propel student’s academic research.
The $30 million project will primarily be funded by the federal government because the interstate construction hindered access to the waterfront and required the original destruction of the George Adee boathouse. Federal stipulations require the city to preserve the historical significance of the Adee boathouse, and the city is eager to cooperate. Construction is scheduled to begin this November.Tweet