Recently opened in late 2016, the Eleanor Boathouse is part of an ecological renewal of the once neglected and polluted Chicago River. It is one of two boathouses on the river designed by Studio Gang.

eleanor boathouse spotlight

The Eleanor Boathouse is composed of two buildings:

  • A heated training centre spanning 5,800 square feet, that can hold up to 57 rowing machines.
  • A 13,000 square foot storage building with a capacity of over 60 boats and also includes a rowing office, boat repair bay, and lockers.

The infrastructure of these two buildings mimics a rower’s motion with its angular pointed rooftops. Its large green-tinted windows face south, so they can bring in lots of natural sunlight – perfect for warming the cooler months with minimal energy consumption. There’s also an outside floating launch dock where people can watch the races!

The Eleanor Boathouse during winter.

The Eleanor Boathouse during winter.

Several rowing teams and clubs utilise the facilities here at the Eleanor Boathouse, including the Chicago Training Centre, St. Ignatius High School, and Lincoln Park Boat Club, amongst many more. The Park District hopes to expose people to the sport of rowing and complement Chicago’s communities. To help this, the boathouse provides classes and day camp programs.

All in all, the team here at Space Saving Rowing Systems thinks this has to be one of the most unique boathouses we’ve seen in our time! Passerbys may not see it as a boathouse at first glance, which only goes to show that you can have a beautiful design for your boathouse without compromising on practicality.

If you are in the process of developing a new boathouse, or simply upgrading your existing one, don’t forget to check out some of the great advice we have on our Boathouse Redevelopment page!