Shoemaker Boathouse

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Home to the Tufts University men's and women's rowing treams, this 9,000-square-foot building on the Malden River, opened in 2006.

For the Tufts teams who did not previously home a permanent home facility, it was a game-changer.

“It legitimized the program,” said Gary Caldwell, the former Director of Rowing at Tufts who played a key role in getting the facility built. “You can talk to any Division III coach in the country and ask them what is the nicest Division III boathouse, and the Tufts Shoemaker Boathouse is at the top of everybody’s list.”

Tufts Rowing received a major gift from David Shoemaker, the parent of a Jumbo rower. The Boat House is named the William A. Shoemaker Boat House in honor of his late father.

The building includes two boat bays with a multifunction space and changing areas on the second level. The building’s butterfly roof, glazed walls and L-shaped deck emphasize the primary views of the river to the south and east and also take advantage of its southern exposure.

The boathouse was the first completed building in River’s Edge, a development that reclaimed industrial brownfield land along the Malden River in Medford, Massachusetts. The development also includes office and residential space in several buildings. The boathouse, with benches overlooking the water and interpretive signage outlining the industrial history of the site, is part of a linear riverfront park along the river.

The building’s two boat bays accommodate the University’s mix of eights, fours, pairs and single sculls. One of the bays is longer and includes a workbench area to allow the coaches to make adjustments to oars or other equipment. On the upper level, the building features a dramatic multifunction space that overlooks the river. This room accommodates ergometers and other training equipment, but can also be set up to host meetings, dinners, or other functions. The coaches’ office, off of this room, features interior glazing that allows it to share the sweeping views of the site. A glazed landing over the building entry looks back to the western approach to the building, and relates to other structures on the site.

The Tufts teams host multiple racing days out of Shoemaker Boathouse each spring.

Take a virtual tour of Shoemaker Boathouse ...