Restoration Commencing on 100-Year-Old Temple Boathouse

The project is anticipated to finish in 2016.

If you’ve made it from Boathouse Row to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, it’s likely you’ve caught sight of the East Park Canoe House. (If not, here it is on Google Street View.) Deemed unfit by L&I in 2008, the historic, but dilapidated building appeared headed for demolition and (gasp!) replacement with a new building.

As fate would have it, however, its luck took a turn last year when the city announced it had partnered with the Lenfest Foundation to restore the Temple Boathouse, its informal name given the structure’s previous use by the university’s rowing teams, for $5.5 million.  Now, Owl Sports reports a ceremonial groundbreaking took place last Thursday.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Michael Nutter and Temple University President Neil D. Theobald, the former of whom had this to say about the Canoe House renovation:

“By restoring the East Park Canoe House, Philadelphia is giving back to students from an institution that has given this city so much and continues to do so each and every day,” […]”Strengthening the relationship between Temple University and the City of Philadelphia—the city’s university, as well as the students—is essential for the future of Philadelphia.”

Once completed, the Mission Revival-style building will “look the same on the exterior as it did 100 years ago,” with even its roof tiles coming from the same manufacturer that produced the original set. The interior will also see a return to its original layout.

It will also house the Philadelphia Police Department Marine Unit. According to the press release, “The PPD Marine Unit will be located on the second floor of the facility, providing increased visibility up and down the river.”

The project is anticipated to finish in 2016.