More than $5 million investment by the City of Philadelphia and the Lenfest Foundation will restore East Park Canoe House for use by Police Marine Unit and Temple University.
Philadelphia, July 30, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis, Temple University President Neil D. Theobold and H.F. Gerry Lenfest, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the East Park Canoe House, which will serve as the home for the Philadelphia Police Marine Unit and Temple University’s rowing and crew teams. In total, the Canoe House will receive more than $5 million of renovations, including $3 million from the Lenfest Foundation and $2.5 million from the City of Philadelphia.
“When this renovation project is complete, Philadelphia will benefit in a numerous ways: an historic building in Fairmount Park restored, a new home for Temple’s student-athletes, and a modern facility for the Philadelphia Police Department’s Marine Unit,” said Mayor Nutter. “In restoring the East Park Canoe House, the City and the Lenfest Foundation are giving back to two institutions, Temple and the Police Department, that give so much to our city.”
H.F. Gerry Lenfest said, “I am more than pleased to have had the opportunity to join with the City of Philadelphia in providing a wonderful home in the renovated Canoe House for the men’s and women’s Temple rowing teams. Temple, as the City’s university, deserves a place for its rowing teams on the Schuylkill.”
The project, which is expected to be completed in 12-18 months, will restore the building’s exterior, renovate office and storage space for Temple’s rowing and crewing team and the Philadelphia Police Department Marine Unit, provide new locker rooms and update the public restrooms. The PPD Marine Unit will be located on the second floor of the facility, providing increased visibility up and down the river.
“This will be the high-quality facility our student-athletes deserve. At the same time, the restored canoe house will provide tremendous benefits to our neighbors and expand Temple’s unshakeable commitment to the community,” said Neil D. Theobold, Temple University President.
Lt. Andrew Napoli of the PPD Marine Unit said, “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, as well as the schools and organizations that utilize the Schuylkill River.”
SMP Architects are the design consultants on the project. Renovations will be completed by Murphy Quigley Company, Inc., General Asphalt Paving of Philadelphia, Mulhern Electric Company and Dolan Mechanical.
The East Park Canoe House opened in June 1914. The Canoe House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is eligible for National Historic Landmark designation.