Marist's Historic Cornell Boathouse


Without question the campus athletic facilities with the greatest amount of history in the Marist Athletics Department are the boathouses, located on campus, which sit on the banks of the Hudson River. Currently, two houses exist. The first is the original boathouse once occupied by Cornell University's crew teams during their annual training and racing at the IRA National Championship Regatta, which was held in Poughkeepsie from the late 19th century until 1949. The second boathouse is currently home to the Marist men's and women's rowing programs. The Marist boathouse, which stands on the former site of the University of California and University of Washington boathouses, is adjacent to the Cornell boathouse.

Completed in 2009, Marist's historic Cornell Boathouse is a two-story building which remains as a functional boathouse on the first floor, while the second level plays host to a wide variety of campus events. The boathouse has a number of original features despite the remodeling. There is a plaque commemorating the dedication of the structure that hangs above a refurbished gas fireplace. Also, the second floor is decorated with wooden beams overhead, which provided the original structure to the boathouse in the 19th century.

There are a number of shells on the first floor, including "The Jonah and Joan Sherman," a four-seat vespoli, which was dedicated in September 2008 at Longview Park. Finished with all hardwood floors, the second story of the Cornell Boathouse is a popular meeting area for the entire campus. The room has played host to luncheons, meetings and other events for the entire Marist community.

Marist acquired the historic Cornell boathouse from the university of which it is named in 1977, as part a deal with the City of Poughkeepsie. This would enable local high school rowing programs to have access to the facility. This stipulation remained in effect until 2002. A five-year restoration began in 2004. The process began with the addition of windows and replacing outer shingles. During the process, workers tore down inner walls, installed insulation, replaced the deck, repainted the ceiling beams, and added an elevator.

1939 photo of Boathouse Row. From left to right, Cornell University Boathouse (still in use), University of California Boathouse (no longer standing) and the University of Washington Boathouse (no longer standing-site now used by Marist College crews).