The Milwaukee Rowing Club has a new boathouse, and this time, it's made out of concrete. A wise choice, considering two of the previous boathouses burned to the ground. The first, located at the east end of the North Avenue dam, burned in 1961 and the second, inside Hubbard Park, was lost to a fire in 1989.
But this new structure was built to last by local architecture firm, Vetter Denk Architects, and will be unveiled to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Fri, Sept. 19, just one day before the annual Regatta, The Milwaukee River Challenge.
The 140x48-foot building, perched on the Milwaukee River as part of the Beerline River Homes and River Court Development, has the capacity to store 48 boats. According to one of the project's grant writers and club secretary, Gary Ahrens, boat storage is the structure's sole purpose.
"We didn't want to give up space for anything you can do someplace else," he says, referring to the decision not to include meeting and changing rooms in the design.
All of the facility's surrounding green space is open to the public and the new Riverwalk will establish a public access point to the river.
The boathouse, which cost $1.5 million including the outdoor renovations, is also available to the community, offering high school and college students the opportunity to row. The club currently has a partnership with Marquette University and hopes to create similar relationships with more area colleges. They will also collaborate with the Urban Ecology Center and other organizations.
The Milwaukee Rowing Club, founded in 1894, is a not-for-profit membership organization. The club's main purpose is to provide the community with recreational and competitive rowing opportunities at a minimal cost.
For more information about the club or the upcoming ribbon-cutting event, go to www.milwaukeerowingclub.org.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.