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Row New York to Break Ground on New Facility

BY LUKE REYNOLDS
PHOTO COURTESY FOSTER+PARTNERS

Another boathouse will soon rise in New York City.

Row New York is in the process of designing and raising money for a new boathouse in northern Manhattan. The boathouse will serve not only as a place for athletes to come and learn the sport but also as a community center.

“To us, it’s a realization of combining and co-locating rowing and academics at Row New York,” said Amanda Kraus, CEO, founder and project lead. “We’re not just rowing; we’re very much an academic prep program as well.”

The organization tries also to serve the local community outside of rowing.

“We’re already talking to other nonprofits and the school that’s right in front of the boathouse–P.S. 5–to see if they want to use the classrooms for science programming or if they want to use the rooms when we’re not during the school day. We don’t want the building to sit empty. We want it to be a vibrant, active park and building,” Kraus said.

Row New York has partnered with world-renowned architect Lord Norman Foster, in association with the architectural firm Bade Stageberg Cox.

“The design is a response to the mission of Row New York,” Foster told Architectural Digest. “A new building would be able to cater to five times the existing intake and improve the lives of so many more young people.”

The program currently operates out of three locations, including the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse on the northwest side of Manhattan, the World’s Fair Boathouse in Queens, and the Paerdegat Basin Boathouse in Brooklyn.

The project’s estimated cost is more than $35 million, which includes marine infrastructure, the physical boathouse, and more than $5 million in improvements in the park where it will be built.

For Kraus, the project, which will break ground next year, has been a tremendous undertaking and one she hopes will serve future generations of rowers for decades to come.

“It’s being designed by a world-famous architect and it’s going to live on forever,” Kraus said. “There’s been some feedback that this is a building that belongs at Princeton or Yale or Harvard, but I’ve started leaning into it and feeling like, ‘This is a building that belongs in New York City.’

“Our kids at Row New York deserve this boathouse, and we should be building something beautiful and important for them and for the kids who follow behind them.”

The boathouse is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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