New Haven Officials Hope New Boathouse Revitalizes City's Waterfront District

Construction is underway on New Haven’s new Canal Dock Boathouse on the city’s Long Wharf.

"While we celebrate this brand new exciting and innovative boathouse," New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said. "We’re also paying tribute to new haven’s rich maritime history."

It is a project years in the making that elected officials say will help rejuvenate New Haven’s waterfront district.

"The project will provide much needed repairs," Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said. "It’s going to help improve Long Wharf for the enjoyment of a whole new generation."

The City of New Haven will own the $40 million boathouse, paid fully by state and federal funds, Mayor Harp said.

The non-profit Canal Dock Boathouse Inc. (CDBI) will operate the facility and organize programs.

Many of the activities will be aimed at bringing local youth to the waterfront, CDBI President John Pescatore said.

"They’re the ones who are going to be around taking care of the harbor, taking care of the river, taking of our environment in the future," he said.

Once complete, this boathouse will be the new home base of Veterans Rowing and Kayaking, an organization serving veterans with both physical and mental health disabilities, like post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We have recreational rehabilitation, adaptive rowing and kayaking and we also have a competitive program as well for those that want to compete," said Paul Stephen Varsegi from Veterans Rowing and Kayking.

The architects from Greg Wies & Gardner are incorporating design elements from the old Yale boathouse into this modern, two-story facility being built on an acre plus concrete platform. The historic Adee Boathouse on New Haven harbor was demolished as part of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge project.

"We hope that the structure, the beauty of the structure, it architectural significance will attract more people to come down," Pescatore said.

The Canal Dock Boathouse is expected to be finished in late fall of 2017.

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