Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club

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Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club
Philadelphia Girls RC 2010.jpg
Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club, # 14 Boathouse Row
Location#14 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Home waterSchuylkill River
Navy admission1967[1]
PresidentSophie Socha
ColorsRoyal Blue      and White     
AffiliationsAgnes Irwin School
Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Part ofBoat House Row (#87000821[2])
Added to NRHPFebruary 27, 1987

Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club (commonly abbreviated PGRC) is an amateur rowing club located at #14 Boathouse Row in the historic Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest all-female rowing club in existence.[3] Built in 1860, the Club's boathouse is the oldest structure on Boathouse Row,[1] which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.[4] PGRC was founded in 1938 by seventeen women (mostly wives of oarsmen at other clubs) who wanted to participate in the then predominantly male sport of rowing.[1][3]

History of the boathouse[edit]

In 1860, Philadelphia City Council authorized construction of the structure that is now #14 Boathouse Row for the purpose of housing the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society.[5]

Architect, James C. Sidney, designed the building to provide for the Skating Club, but also included a basement facility to store boats for neighboring rowing clubs whose boat houses were scheduled to be removed by the City.[6] Samuel Sloan, a well-known Philadelphia architect, likely influenced the design of #14 Boathouse Row with his rendering of "Italian Villa," Plate XXIV, in his book "Model Architect."[7] The construction cost $4,900 and was completed in 1861.[8]

The Undine and University Barge Clubs housed their boats at the Philadelphia Skating Club building until the City permitted them to build their own structures in 1882 and 1871, respectively.[9] From 1884 through 1895, the second Iona Boat Club (now defunct) occupied the space in the building left vacant by Undine Barge Club.[9]

With the advent of artificially frozen indoor skating rinks at the beginning of the 20th century, skating on the Schuylkill River declined precipitously.[10] In 1965, PGRC purchased the boathouse from the Philadelphia Skating Club.[11]

Occupant timeline[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Stillner, Anna (2005). The Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club: An Incremental Historic Structure Report (Thesis). Retrieved 30 April 2010.


  1. ^ a b c Stillner, p. 105
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 2009 Program" (PDF). Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. 2009: 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010 Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Listing of National Historic Landmarks by State" (PDF). National Historic Landmarks Survey, National Park Service. p. 81. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 24, 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  5. ^ Stillner, p. 5
  6. ^ Stillner, pp. 21-22
  7. ^ Stillner, p. 24
  8. ^ Stillner, p. 22
  9. ^ a b Stillner, p. 28
  10. ^ Stillner, p. 29
  11. ^ "Boathouse Row". Living Places. Retrieved 30 April 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′10″N 75°11′07″W / 39.96935°N 75.18537°W / 39.96935; -75.18537