Along Kelly Drive, within Fairmount Park, sits a lovely collection of unique houses built along the Schuylkill River called Boathouse Row. Built in the mid to late 1800’s, the fifteen addresses along Boathouse Row are architecturally unique and significant. Nationally acclaimed architects such as Frank Furness (#13 Undine), Hazlehurst and Huckel (#6 Bachelors Barge), the Hewitt brothers (# 9, Malta) and Arthur Brockie (#15 Sedgeley) contributed their talents to Boathouse Row. Most boathouses have riverside ramps leading to docks on the water so the boats, called shells, can be safely carried by hand into and out of the river. Boathouse Row has been the hub of rowing activity on the Schuylkill River, with amateurs and Olympians rowing side by side for over a century. In the past ten years, Dragon Boats can also be seen on the river providing another form of recreation to Philadelphians.
Instead of a boat ramp, on the river side of Sedgeley Club you can see the lighthouse tower, which dates back to 1887 and precedes the house surrounding it. Across the river from Boathouse Row is the Fairmount Dam Fishway, providing a bypass over the man-made Fairmount Dam for thousands of fish every year. As a sign of good conservation efforts, our river is now in the finest condition since the late 1800’s.
Throughout the four seasons of activity on the river, two world recognized regattas are held on the Schuylkill each year; the Dad Vail Regatta and the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. The Schuylkill Navy (http://www.boathouserow.org/) was founded in 1858 to govern the athletic activities of amateur rowers in Philadelphia and it continues to play a vital role today.