CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined members of the Bridgeport and rowing community to officially open the Eleanor Boathouse Sunday.
The much-anticipated boathouse at 2828 S. Eleanor St. will function as a rowing training center and boat storage facility. It is the fourth of its kind to be built in Chicago.
“The Eleanor Boat House supports the larger movement of ecological and recreational revival of the Chicago River,” Mayor Emanuel said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday.
The Eleanor Boathouse can accommodate up to 57 “erg” machines, has a multi-purpose community room, main office, open seating area, restrooms with showers and building storage.
A second building functions as boat storage and includes a rowing office, boat repair bay, vending machine area, restroom and four-team storage areas.
“The Chicago Park District is excited to offer our residents an opportunity to tap into more recreational opportunities along the Chicago River,” said General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly.
Neighborhood organizations like Recovery on Water — a program that teaches recovering breast cancer patients rowing for exercise and mutual support — are looking forward to inhabiting the facility.
The organization "is thrilled to soon call the Eleanor Boathouse home,” said Jenn Gibbons, Recovery on Water's director. “We're thrilled to be able to offer exercise to anyone who walks through the door and look forward to working with the community so this boathouse is a thriving and accessible asset for our neighbors.”
The Park District will offer programming at the facility, which is open to the public.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel first announced plans to build the 19,000-square-foot, Jeanne Gang-designed boathouse in November 2015, in a bid to expand recreation in several neighborhoods near the Chicago River.
The boathouse in Bridgeport is the final of four boathouses, including ones at Clark Park, River Park and Ping Tom Park.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.