Boathouse Row, Philadelphia
Boathouse Row is a historic site located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the east bank of the Schuylkill River. It consists of a row of boathouses housing racing shells. Each of the ten boathouses has its own history, and all have addresses on Kelly Drive (named after famous Philadelphia oarsman John B. Kelly, Jr.). The boathouses are part of a group known as the Schuylkill Navy, which encompasses several other boathouses along the river.
Boathouse Row hosts several major rowing regattas, including the Dad Vail Regatta, Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the Navy Day Regatta, the Independence Day Regatta, and the Head of the Schuylkill.
The boathouses are seen as centers of the rowing community around the United States. Rowers from the boathouses compete at every level, including local clubs, high schools, colleges, summer racing programs, and international-level athletics.
In 1979, lights designed by architectural lighting designer Raymond Grenald were installed to outline each of the boathouses, giving them a nightly Christmas-like gingerbread house appearance and reflecting in the Schuylkill River. He proposed the lights after hearing talk of destroying the decaying Victorian boathouses. Lights on the buildings at night would serve to make them more noticed and appreciated. In 2005, after two refurbishings, the houses were outfitted with computerized LEDs that can light up in various colors, depending on the event or season.
Boathouse Row is a National Historic Landmark and was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Local universities (including Drexel, Saint Joseph's, Villanova, Penn, La Salle, and Temple) row from a boathouse along the Schuylkill.