Tuesday, March 10, 2009
☞ ARCHITECTURE: Recreational Boathouses
Looking back at 19th century prints of the Hudson and Harlem rivers, one can find the what was present at the now vacant
piers that only have broken pilasters sticking out of the water to hint at their former life. Boathouses and recreation piers with
intricate wooden arches and turrets were common on all water edges from Manhattan to Coney Island in Brooklyn. They often
were 2 levels and provided a place to meet and frequently docked ships large and small. The print above shows the Harlem river with an abundance of leisurely boating parties. Notice the small boathouse with the tower in the back ground. The modern photo of Pier A in Battery Park, although not in Harlem, shows what shorelines of Harlem might have looked like today if they still existed. Pier A is on the southern tip of Manhattan and is the only intact 19th century pier in the city. The print is from Shorpy's website link. Click on photos to enlarge. Also see Harlem Meer post for other example of boathouses.