Charles & Marie Fontana Boathouse - Buffalo, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 42° 54.038 W 078° 54.094
17T E 671317 N 4751916
Quick Description: The Fontana Boathouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was originally intended for use by the University of Wisconsin in the early 1900s, but was built in 2007 along the waterfront in Buffalo, NY.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 5:04:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM2B19
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Darmok and Jalad
Views: 179

Long Description:
The Frank Lloyd Wright designed rowing boathouse was one of his most favorite works. The design was completed in 1905 and was originally intended to be used by the University of Wisconsin rowing team. The university decided not to pay for the construction of the boathouse, and the project was shelved.

In 1930, Wright redrew the plans in order to make use of concrete which had become more prevalent in use over that period of time. The original design made use of wood and stucco on a stone foundation. The building is two stories and 5000 square feet and is made of poured concrete walls with hardwood floors, red oak trim and custom made leaded glass windows. The lower floor is a windowless boat storage facility with twin bays over pine planking and the upper level has locker rooms separated by a center club room. For the most part, the building is exactly as Wright planned it. However the designers added a few practical and unusual flourishes. For example, rowers will carry their shells through doors at the north end of the building, down a sloping concrete plaza to a metal switchback bridge and onto a floating dock. Typically the doors open directly onto the water.

The $5.5 million boathouse will be a training base for rowers recruited from Buffalo Public Schools as part of an expanding youth program run by the West Side Rowing Club, the nation’s third oldest and largest rowing club. It is named after Charles Fontana, a lengendary rowing coach, and his wife Marie. Charles' son Tom, an award winning television writer and producer from Buffalo, donated and raised a large portion of the money necessary to build the boathouse. Crews will use the boathouse for rowing and sculling from 5 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. eight months a year. Visitors will be welcome during those times, but regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Source for portions of the description: The Buffalo News article from September 28, 2007
Year Completed: 2007

Commissioned By: University of Wisconsin

Nearest City or Town: Buffalo, NY

Public/Private: Public

Website: [Web Link]

Tours Available?: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
There are no specific visit requirements, however telling about your visit is strongly encouraged. Additional photos of the building or house to add to the gallery are also nice, but not required. Pictures with a GPS or you in them is highly discouraged.
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MrsMcFly visited Charles & Marie Fontana Boathouse - Buffalo, NY 7/31/2010 MrsMcFly visited it
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