NCSA: Nine impressive boathouses for college rowing

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NCSA: Nine impressive boathouses for college rowing

High School Sports

NCSA: Nine impressive boathouses for college rowing


When you’re a college athlete, you’re going to have a busy schedule that includes lots of training in addition to your school work. That’s why quality athletic facilities can help make student-athletes’ college experience more enjoyable, as they will be spending a significant amount of time there. This also applies for college rowers, who can be found at the boathouse erging, lifting, stretching, washing up, practicing in the water tank, analyzing video, studying, attending board meetings, and more.

And while every boathouse can have a cool or quirky feature, I compiled a list of some of the most impressive boathouses in the country, allowing you to take a peek at the part-time homes of college rowers.

Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA

I’m cheating a bit here as Boathouse Row is actually a series of 15 boathouses and social clubs, including local clubs and the homes of Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, and La Salle University crews. The row itself is a National Historic Landmark, and some of the boathouses are more than 150 years old. They’re a great sight, especially on big racing weekends like the Dad Vail Regatta.

Conibear Shellhouse
University of Washington

Home to arguably the best men’s and women’s program in the country, Conibear Shellhouse is a slick, state-of-the-art facility equipped with a dining cafeteria and meeting rooms.It also has a lot of racing hardware on display, including the 1936 Olympic gold medal won by the crew immortalized in The Boys in the Boat.

Beckwith Boathouse
University of Iowa

One of the most impressive boathouses in the country, Beckwith Boathouse has a high-tech indoor rowing tank with moving water that makes it a lot easier to train when the cold Iowa winter rolls through.

Devon Boathouse
Oklahoma City University

An architectural gem, Devon Boathouse is a stunning $10 million facility that’s home to Oklahoma City University, as well as the USRowing National High Performance Center, which helps train Olympic hopefuls.

Weld Boathouse
Harvard University

The older of the two Harvard boathouses, Weld Boathouse is home to the women’s team (known as Radcilffe Crew), recreational sculling facilities and the intramural House Crews of Harvard’s twelve colleges. The men’s crews row out of the impressive Newell Boathouse, but I would argue the Weld Boathouse looks just a touch statelier.

Shea Rowing Center
Princeton University

At Princeton, rowing is the school’s biggest varsity sports program. That’s why the Shea Rowing Center is equipped with top-notch facilities and equipment, including a rowing tank, offices and weight training areas.

WMS Boathouse
DePaul University, North Park University

Designed by the famed Studio Gang architects, the WMS Boathouse replicates the undulating waves of a river’s surface. Home to the North Park University women’s crew and local Chicago Rowing Foundation crews (and part-time home to DePaul University), WMS Boathouse also offers an erg room and automated indoor water tank.

Kroll Boathouse
University of Minnesota

Perched on the mighty Mississippi River, Kroll Boathouse is equipped with locker rooms, meeting rooms, erg rooms and an oval-shaped indoor water tank that keeps the water flowing manually.

Porter Boathouse
University of Wisconsin

One of the finest boathouses in the Midwest, Porter Boathouse sits on lake Mendota and offers training facilities for both the men’s and women’s varsity crews. It is also equipped with an automated indoor water tank that can control the speed of the flowing water.


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