Completed in 2018, the Canal Dock Boathouse helps restore New Haven’s connection to the waterfront and fills a need for a community recreation center on New Haven’s harbor. The Boathouse provides a waterfront promenade, boat storage, transient slips, and a handicap accessible ramp for canoes and kayaks, as well as a gathering place in a diverse and urban context unparalleled in the State of Connecticut. Its proximity to multiple modes of transportation will attract the diverse population of New Haven and surrounding towns. Most importantly, the Boathouse incorporates the waterfront into the identity of the city in a way that has been prevented for decades by transportation infrastructure, providing an opportunity to learn about the history of the original Adee Boathouse, collegiate rowing and the New Haven harbor.
The Canal Dock Boathouse project serves to mitigate the demolition of the historic Adee Boathouse that sat across New Haven Harbor from the Canal Dock site, at 74 Forbes Avenue. The Adee Boathouse was demolished in 2007 as part of the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program, a multi-billion-dollar effort to improve highway safety and efficiency at the I-95/I-91 interchange. Elements of the historic boathouse are prominently featured in the design of the Canal Dock Boathouse, connecting the building’s otherwise-modern design with the historical context of the region.
The opening of the Canal Dock Boathouse coincides with multiple City efforts to bring more activity to New Haven’s waterfront. For example, 2017 saw the reopening of the Long Wharf Information Center and Snack Shack, upgrades to the “Food Truck Paradise” vending area, and the launch of the state’s first protected cycle track on Long Wharf Drive. Along with shoreline restoration efforts underway and the development of the Long Wharf Responsible Growth Plan, the Boathouse is a key part of a multifaceted effort to restore and revitalize New Haven’s waterfront.
The Boathouse provides dock elements to support multiple non-motorized boat types and sizes and provide for public access to the harbor. Environmental, cultural, and historical education will be a key component of programming at the Boathouse, using the history of a rebuilt Canal Dock and adjacent Long Wharf Pier as starting points. The first floor of the Boathouse will be home to the University of New Haven’s marine biology program.
Canal Dock Boathouse Inc., a not-for-profit organization, manages programming and day-to-day operations of the Boathouse. The Boathouse includes event space for conferences, meetings, company retreats, and special events such as parties and wedding receptions. The upstairs main room can hold up to 150 people and boasts spectacular views of the New Haven harbor, and there are two smaller meeting rooms as well, one of which features the original wooden fireplace from the Adee clubroom.
To learn more or book the space for an event, go to www.canaldock.org
New Haven Register,“Canal Dock Boathouse opens in New Haven, with reminders of what once was” (September 18, 2018)
New Haven Independent, “Canal Dock Boathouse Rises, Wows” (February 2, 2018)
For more press coverage, see: http://www.canaldock.org/about/press-releases-and-articles/