Robert M. Gillin, Jr. Boathouse
The Robert M. Gillin, Jr. Boathouse, dedicated in 2002, is the home of the St. Joseph's Prep Crew Team. The first new Boathouse constructed on the river banks in decades, the Gillin Boathouse sits on 20,381 square feet of land in the shadow of Strawberry Mansion Bridge at the 1,000-meter mark of the famed Schuylkill River race course (also designated as the “National Race Course”).
The boathouse is also home to the Rev. J. Vincent Taggart, S.J. Rowing Center. The 15,540 square foot state-of-the-art boathouse includes four heated boat bays with capacity for 42 eights, 14 fours/quads, and 14 small boats, while the second floor includes locker rooms and showers, coach’s office, conference room, as well as a large common area for ergs, team meetings, etc.
The boathouse project was the brainchild of the late Prep Alumnus Henry A. Backe ‘48, who, starting in 1987, began discussions with the city of Philadelphia to acquire land to build a rowing facility. It now stands as the homebase for the Prep’s historic rowing program as they compete in major regattas including the Stotesbury Cup Regatta each May.
DIRECTIONS TO GILLIN BOATHOUSE
2200 Kelly Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19129
From Philadelphia & East: Take the Vine Street Expressway/I-676 West toward Central Philadelphia. Take the exit for the Ben Franklin Parkway. Take a right onto 22nd Street and then a left onto the Ben Franklin Parkway. Turn slight right onto Kelly Drive and the Gillin Boathouse will be a few miles down Kelly Drive on the left.
From Valley Forge & West: Take I-76 to Montgomery Drive & follow until West River Drive. Make a left onto Falls Bridge & follow to Kelly Drive. Make a right and the Boathouse will be on the right.