680 Babcock Drive
Madison, Wis. 53706
Porter Boathouse Highlights
A new three-story crew house for the UW men's and womens' rowing teams
has been constructed on the site of the former crew house at the end
of Babcock Drive along the shore of Lake Mendota. The previous 15,000
square foot crew house, which was built in 1967, was demolished to make
way for the new facility.
The new 52,000 square foot crew house cost $8.56 million, which included
Athletic Department program revenue bonding and $3.25 million in gifts. The Porter Boathouse was named in recognition of a contribution of over $1 million toward the facility made by the Ben and Cheslee Porter Family. In addition to the generous gift from the Porter family, many crew letter winners, UW alumni, and friends made gifts to support the project.
The Porter Boathouse was designed by KEE Architecture, Inc. of Madison
and Vincent James Associates of Minneapolis. Construction of the Crew
House began in September of 2003, with the substantial completion date
in December 2004. The building was dedicated prior to the Midwest Rowing
Championship on April 22, 2005.
Lake Level (1st Floor)
- Storage space for more than 100 boats and a boat repair bay.
- Raised two feet from previous crew house location to minimize flooding.
- 2 additional boat storage bays
Ground Level (2nd Floor)
- Main public building entrance
- Historical Displays
- Donors/Coaches/Rowers Hall of Fame
- Coaches and staff offices
- Team locker rooms
- Moving water rowing tank for 24
- Community meeting room
- Catering kitchen
- Three separate team workout rooms
- Sports medicine areas
- Exterior terraces
The unique state-of-the-art facility blends well with and compliments
the classic architectural style of the adjacent lakeshore dorms and
their wooded surroundings. The boathouse features a natural stone for
the exterior walls and a lead coated copper roof. The building was designed
to preserve and protect the beautiful mature oak trees in the neighboring
To better accommodate the many pedestrians and bicyclists who use the
popular lakeshore path, improvements to the existing path were made
as part of the project.